The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) will be beefing up its senior management, with the filling of two vacant roles. Paul Arnold is to become the deputy CEO and James Dipple-Johnstone will become deputy commissioner of operations at the Information Commissioner
Arnold joined in 1998 and made his way through the ranks of the ICO for nearly two decades, graduating to his new position after several years in charge of customer service for the office.
Dipple-Johnstone will join in June and unlike Arnold, spent much of his career in other regulators. He's spent time at the Independent Police Complaints Commission and was a lead commissioner in the Hillsborough Investigation. He's been the director of investigations for the Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and currently serves as the director of investigation and supervision at the Solicitor's Regulatory Authority (SRA).
Elizabeth Denham, the current information commissioner said in a statement that “these key appointments will strengthen the ICO's ability to meet the many and varied challenges we will face in the months and years to come.”
These appointments come at a time of change for the ICO which, under Denham, has taken on new significance. An October 2016 fine on TalkTalk for failing to protects its customers after a breach in 2015, marked a new attitude within the regulator, one that is ready to penalise those who abuse or fail to protect private data. Just last week, the ICO handed out a series of fines to 11 major charities who routinely broke data protection law over several years.
Denham has also been explicit in her desire to see UK firms comply with incoming EU regulation whether or not the UK is a formal member of the EU. Last month, the ICO announced that it would be hiring 200 staff over the next few years. Denham told the House of Lords that the office would be hiring more lawyers, investigators and specialists to help UK firms to comply with that regulation.