NEWS29 July 2020

ICO releases first two regulatory sandbox reports

Covid-19 GDPR Innovations News Privacy UK

UK – The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published the first two reports from participants in its regulatory sandbox on innovating within data protection.

Lock representing data privacy

The beta version of the sandbox was introduced in September last year to support organisations in developing products and services that use personal data in innovative ways while drawing on ICO support to ensure data protections and safeguards were put in place effectively.

There were 10 successful applicants to the beta version of the sandbox, which was designed to test the service, and the first two reports cover trials by Heathrow Airport Ltd and higher and further education not-for-profit JISC.

Heathrow’s report covers an automation of passenger journey programme using biometrics, which would offer facial recognition at check-in, self-service bag drops and boarding gates to prevent passengers needing to repeatedly show passports and tickets while travelling through the airport.

The JISC project involved the development of a wellbeing code of practice with universities and colleges wanting to investigate how student activity data could improve the student support services they offer.

The ICO said that some of the other eight projects it is working on have been affected by Covid-19, and the regulator has worked flexibly with them to adapt projects where necessary and, in some cases, offer extensions.

The trials, according to the ICO, have helped improve the sandbox scheme ahead of a full launch. Details of the next phase of the sandbox will be published in the near future.