U.K. Parliament OKs Appointment of New Privacy Chief

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By Daniel R. Stoller

April 28 — The U.K. Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee April 28 confirmed the appointment of Elizabeth Denham, current British Columbia information and privacy commissioner, as the next U.K. Information Commissioner.

After final approval from Queen Elizabeth II, Denham will replace current commissioner Christopher Graham in June 2016 (15 PVLR 674, 3/28/16). Denham “is an experienced information rights practitioner, essential when the ICO is busier than ever and facing the challenges of the digital age,” Graham said April 28 in a statement.

Graham has headed the Information Commissioners Office since 2009 (8 PVLR 281, 2/16/09). He will end his second-term at the helm of the U.K.'s data protection authority when Denham takes control.

Graham—previously director general of the Advertising Standards Authority—succeeded Richard Thomas in 2009 and his position was extended for a two year term in 2014 (13 PVLR 349, 2/24/14).

Jesse Norman, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee praised Denham's appointment. The committee applauds “Denham's track record on data protection with Government in British Columbia, and her proactive approach to protection of privacy with major international technology companies,” he said.

A priority for Denham in her new role will be overseeing the U.K.’s implementation of the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will replace the over 20-year-old Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) (14 PVLR 2289, 12/21/15).

A looming decision on whether the U.K. should quit the European Union—or Brexit—may not have much practical affect on how U.K. businesses deal with the requirements of the GDPR, privacy attorneys and industry professionals recently told Bloomberg BNA (15 PVLR 803, 4/18/16).

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dstoller@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jimmy H. Koo at jkoo@bna.com

For More Information

Full text of the announcement is available at http://src.bna.com/euu.