NEWS19 November 2019

ICO hires first data ethics adviser

Data analytics News People Public Sector UK

UK – The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has appointed Ellis Parry as data ethics adviser as it looks to address “broad ethical questions” over how data is used.

Ethics dictionary reference

The ICO wants to understand how data protection and regulation interacts with philosophy and ethics. In the newly created role, Parry will lead the regulator’s contributions to discussions in the area.  

Parry has previously led data protection for BP and AstraZeneca.

Simon McDougall, executive director of technology policy and innovation at the ICO, said in a blog post: “Increasingly we see broad ethical questions being raised around how data is being used. There is debate around when data protection and data ethics overlap, where they are separate, and where they may even conflict. Working through these issues demands a broad range of skills.”

McDougall added: “I am delighted Ellis is joining us. He will help ensure that the ICO contributes to data ethics discussions in a way that meets the aims of our Information Rights Strategic Plan, and in doing so helps to uphold information rights in the UK.”

Recent research from the Open Data Institute found that the majority of people feel it’s important that organisations they interact with use their personal data ethically.