Government Cherry-Picks Elizabeth Denham As UK Information Commissioner

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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Denham says she is ready to tackle challenges that rapid tech innovation presents to information rights

The UK Government has confirmed Elizabeth Denham as its preferred candidate to be the next Information Commissioner.

Subject to a pre-scrutiny hearing by the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee, and a rubber stamp from Queen Liz, Denham will take over from current incumbent Christopher Graham in summer 2016.

Elizabeth DenhamTransparent recruitment

At present, Denham is the Information and Privacy Commissioner in British Columbia, Canada, and was chosen for her new role after “an open and transparent recruitment process”, overseen by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, according to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale. She is due to serve a term of five years.

Whittingdale said: “Denham brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role having been British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner for the past six years.”

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, minister for data protection, acknowledged that the work of the Information Commissioner is vital for public and business alike.

She said: “I’m pleased that we are recommending Elizabeth Denham to take on this role. She has a track record of working with business and other stakeholders, as well as a proactive approach to enforcing data protection law.”

Denham said believes the rapid pace of technological change the UK faces will continue to accelerate and present challenges to information rights.

She said: “We must ensure access to information while maintaining high standards of data protection. The Information Commissioner’s Office has a global reputation for practical, innovative and responsive regulation. I look forward to contributing to this work.”

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