The ICO – Some Scary Stats

I had a quick squint at the latest annual report from the ICO. As you do.

If you want it, it's here :

All other considerations aside, the ICO - like all entities - has it's own agenda.

To "survive and thrive" is the primary aim of most organisations and the ICO does not disappoint.

In a year, their total staffing costs have risen by over a third (34.5%) from £29 Million to £39 Million.

Not bad for Elizabeth Denham (the Information Commissioner herself) who earned £245,000 last year.

Even better for Simon McDougall (the Executive Director) who earned a whopping £420,000.

But - hey, it's okay, because they can afford it. They're growing very nicely and so is the 'demand' for their services.

And, to be fair to them, they closed a record 39,860 cases last year, Resolving over 98% of complaints within their six-month timeliness target. That's a record of (an average) 109 RESOLVED cased per DAY.

If you have a peek at some of the things they've been reviewing, namely stuff like :

  • Law enforcement use of facial recognition technology in public places
  • Nuisance Marketing Firms
  • New GDPR Services
  • AdTech: Real Time bidding
  • Involvement in litigation
  • Public Complaints
  • Freedom of information

It (almost) makes reading it bearable. But ... the bits that interested me however (I enjoy reviewing the figures of a 'business' after all) are some of the highlights :

  • Subject Access Requests generated 46% of the complaints, which has increased by 21% from the year before (38% of total complaints)
  • Information access requests have increased hugely over the last two years from 1509 (two years ago) to 2747  last year (i.e nearly double)
  • "Recorded voice" telesales complaints have increased almost 27% (51,964 from 40,991 the year before)

So, as you can see, there' no shortage in the demand and they're growing accordingly.

"Income from activities" has grown by 24%  (£49.7 Million from £40 Million) while their Net Assets increased by 70% from  £2,204,000 £3,751,000 ... not bad in anyone's books.

Talking of books, one of their line items for "Office supplies and stationery" has TRIPLED in the last year from £168,000 to £508,000 ... maybe it's all the letters and stamps they use for mailing out all those fines?

The point is this. The ICO is getting bigger, cyber lawyers are getting richer and businesses (MSPs and their clients) getting more cyber-sued.

So, I'm interviewing a barrister (on Wednesday the 2nd December at 11.00 am) that specialises in this scary cyber stuff.

Here's the link to reserve your spot now.

It's Free, fun (usually), live and interactive ... plus you get to 'meet' other MSPs in this no bullsh*t style interview.

See you there ...

Mike Knight MBA FCIM

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