A joint statement about the ICO – UKAN working relationship
The ICO initiated the formation of UKAN via a tendering exercise for funding to set up and run a network to share best practice in anonymisation. The UKAN consortium was successful securing funding for two years. This ran from 2012 to 2014. The ICO and UKAN are both independent organisations. The ICO is the independent regulator of the Data Protection Act and is subject to a statutory prohibition on disclosing information received in the course of investigations under section 59 of the Data Protection Act. UKAN is a not for-profit organisation which provides advice, consultancy and training on the practical side of anonymisation. Both organisations recognise the benefits of improving practice in the use of anonymisation techniques and ensuring that they appropriately protect personal data. The ICO and UKAN work together to develop expertise in anonymisation and, where appropriate, share information about good practice, including examples and proposed guidance. They also seek to provide joined up messages about practice where possible, though recognising each other’s independence. The ICO and UKAN meet regularly to exchange information, at least twice a year.