FEATURE4 May 2017

Laying down the law

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Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has a habit of taking on challenging roles. She tells Bronwen Morgan how her latest could be her toughest yet


It’s cold and grey in London on the day I meet Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. But she doesn’t seem to mind. “I’m used to the rain, ” she says. “I come from British Columbia and I find the weather very similar. Vancouver weather – Victoria weather – is a lot like London and Cheshire, so I’m not surprised by some gloomy skies. I’ve adjusted to that.”

In July 2016, Denham moved from Vancouver to Cheshire with her retired computer-scientist husband, to become the UK’s Information Commissioner – the fifth since the role was created in 1984 – replacing Christopher Graham, former director general of the UK Advertising Standards Authority, who had completed his five-year term. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the independent body established to uphold information rights in the UK. One of its key tasks at present is the rollout of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was approved by the EU Parliament in April 2016, ...