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ICO launches beta version of Sandbox



The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has opened the beta phase of its Sandbox service for the development of data products and services with a demonstrable public value.

It has begun to take applications from organisations to work with its specialist staff to ensure they comply with data protection rules in the development.

The ICO said the Sandbox, plans for which it revealed last year, is open to a range of organisations including from the public and voluntary sectors, and can provide the service for approximately 10 in the beta phase, which is scheduled to run until September 2020.

It is going to assess applications until 24 May on the basis of whether a proposal is genuinely innovative and can provide a clear benefit to the public, determined in terms of the number of people it can affect and the extent to which they can benefit.

The successful organisations will receive an on-site visit from a dedicated team member who will work with them to develop and implement a bespoke plan.

Sandbox participants may become use cases from which the ICO anticipates change and develops public guidance and resources on compliance.

Supporting innovation

Simon McDougall, executive director for technology and innovation at the ICO, said: "Thousands of organisations are working on projects using personal data to transform the way we live and work. We want to support this innovation whilst helping ensure that the products and services under development are compliant and deliver benefits to the public.

"Our Sandbox will provide the environment that organisations need to test new concepts and technologies. The lessons we learn together may identify more fundamental questions with broader implications for data protection, and could ultimately inform the development of new guidance or codes of conduct in particular sectors to pave the way for further innovation."

Image by Tiia Monto, CC BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons

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