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In cases like Snap AI chatbot, Edwards seeks ‘agile enforcement’ for final three years as ICO chief
02 November 2023 00:00
Approaching his second anniversary as the UK’s Information Commissioner, John Edwards believes the culture change he has led since taking the job at the start of 2022 has the regulator ready for an “agile” spectrum of responses to data protection problems.
Sitting down with MLex recently for an extended conversation at the Global Privacy Assembly meetings in Bermuda, Edwards discussed the need for data protection regulators to have a more assertive response to the privacy risks of generative artificial intelligence than they had to the rise of social media business models more than a decade ago. For companies that want to comply with UK data protection law, Edwards said the ICO now has an array of tools and guidance showing that “we’re there to walk with you and to help you” comply with the law.
Edwards believes the UK has a unique and important place on the world’s data protection stage — close to Europe in terms of its privacy law but influenced by the US and the Pacific Rim in terms of its interpretation. “We have potential to act as a bridge between different data protection traditions,” he said.