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ICO launches toolkit for data protection in police force analytics


Mark Say Managing Editor


The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has created a toolkit for police forces to support data protection in analytics projects.

Police sign over binary code

It comes from a project in one of the ICO’s priority work areas to explore the use of analytics in law enforcement.

The toolkit, which keeps users anonymous, takes them through data protection points they need to think about from the outset of any projects.

It asks questions to determine the legal regime under which the data will be processed, then others under four themes: lawfulness, accountability and governance, data protection principles and data subject rights. Users can request more information on every issue.

After the questions have been answered the toolkit produces a report with tailored advice for any projects.

The ICO said that complying with the recommendations is not a guarantee of compliance with the law, and that users should also ask their organisation’s data protection officer for advice.

Complex area

ICO director Anthony Luhman said: “We want to help police forces get this right and our toolkit is designed to do that. We recognise data analytics is a new and complex area and this toolkit is just one of the ways the ICO is helping organisations as part of its AI priority work.

“Any innovation that relies on personal data must make the time to consider data protection – it’s the law but it’s also a vital step to gaining public trust and confidence in the technology and how you are using people’s data.”

Image: Matty Ring, CC BY 2.0

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