|British Information Commissioner|
|Assumed office |
18 July 2016
|Preceded by||Christopher Graham|
|Alma mater||University of British Columbia|
Elizabeth Denham CBE is the UK Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in Cheshire. She took over the role from Christopher Graham in July 2016. Denham previously held the title of Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, having been appointed to that role in May 2010. Prior to this she had been the Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada from 2007.
Early life and education
Denham studied at the University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1977 to 1984 and holds a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in archival studies from UBC's iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies).
During her time as Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Denham called for the proactive disclosure of records and published best practices for government ministries and public bodies. She also co-authored a guidance document called Getting Accountability Right with a Privacy Management Program.
Denham was appointed UK Information Commissioner in July 2016, where she and her office deal with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 across the UK; and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and, to a limited extent, in Scotland.
At the ICO, she welcomed the introduction of the data protection laws that came into effect in May 2018, and focused on the role data protection must play in innovation, and the importance of organisations understanding the growing onus on companies to be accountable for what they do with personal data. She also called for the Freedom of Information Act to be extended to private bodies doing work on behalf of the public, and proposed a review of legislation around the duty to document information.
Denham has undertaken investigations into Equifax, WhatsApp, Talk Talk, Uber, and Facebook, and oversaw the conclusion of the ICO’s investigation into charities' fundraising activities. She issued a series of fines for companies behind nuisance marketing, and in December 2018 she welcomed the new law that enabled the ICO to hold company bosses directly responsible and to fine them personally for breaches of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
She launched the inaugural Data Protection Practitioner Award for Excellence in Data Protection at the ICO's 11th annual conference.
Awards and offices
In 2011, Denham received the distinguished alumna award from UBC iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies) for her work in archives and the field of access and privacy.
In 2016, Denham was awarded the Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award for having been "a staunch advocate for access to information rights."
In 2018 she was placed first in the DataIQ 100 Top 10.
She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 New Years Honours for services to protecting information, and is the current Chair of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.
- "Elizabeth Denham to Start as New Information Commissioner" (Press release). Information Commissioner's Office. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- "UK's New Information Commissioner Formally Appointed" (Press release). Government of the United Kingdom. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- "Elizabeth Denham; Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada" (PDF). The Canadian Bar Association. October 3–5, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2018.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
- Palmer, Vaughn (March 22, 2016). "B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham Moving on to Bigger Things". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Guide to OIPC Processes". Office of the Information and Privacy Commission for British Columbia, (OIPC). Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- "Distinguished Alumni Award". UBC iSchool (Library, Archival and Information Studies). Retrieved August 31, 2018.
- "Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner". ico.org.uk. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Winner of the 2016 Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
- "Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham takes number one slot in DataIQ 100". DataIQ. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- "Queens List 31 December 2018" (PDF). assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
- "Executive Committee". ICDPPC. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
| UK Information Commissioner