In a bid to encourage research into data protection solutions, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) is launching a Grants Programme.
Although there is not yet confirmation of exactly how many grants will be awarded each year, it is known that there will be numerous grants varying from a minimum of £20,000 to a maximum of £100,000.
The intentions behind launching the Grants Programme are as follows, to:
- “Support and encourage research and privacy enhancing solutions in significant areas of data protection risk, focused on projects that will make a real difference to the UK public;
- Increase awareness of privacy enhancing solutions with data controllers across the UK;
- Improve understanding of how individuals view privacy issues, interactions with new technologies and promote better public awareness;
- Promote uptake and application of research results by relevant stakeholders, including policy makers; and
- Develop existing privacy research capacity in academic and not-for-profit sectors.”
The ICO has set out a strategic plan, under which they aim to award grants to organisations who are bidding to achieve the following:
- Increase the public’s trust as to how information is stored and create more confidence in how data is made available;
- Through the use of targeted engagement and influence, better the information rights standards;
- Develop the maintained influence held in the global information rights regulatory community;
- Continue to provide exceptional public service and to develop and progress in accordance with technological developments; and
- Continue to enforce the laws as shaped and overseen by the ICO.
The ICO’s plan is reviewed by Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, who made the following statement:
“At the core of our new Information Rights Strategic Plan is the objective of promoting trust for the public. Current research shows that 75% of the public don’t trust the way that their personal data is used. I want to see that number reduce and that requires evidence of what is causing the problem and well considered ideas for how to address it.”
In particular, the ICO intends to focus on projects addressing children, the Internet and their privacy rights. There is also focus on the privacy implications of new technologies and the challenges brought about by the same.
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