ICO issues guidance on privacy enhancing technologies

June 21, 2023

The ICO is recommending that organisations start using privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) to share people’s personal information safely, securely and anonymously. It says that these types of technologies allow organisations to harness the power of personal data through innovative and trustworthy applications, by allowing them to share, link and analyse people’s personal information without having access to it.

The ICO has launched new PETs guidance, which its aimed at data protection officers and others who are using large personal datasets in finance, healthcare, research, and central and local government. This follows a consultation on the draft guidance in 2022.

PETs can help organisations comply with principles with data protection law by offering a secure environment, building data protection in from the beginning of a project, and minimising the amount of data that needs to be collected and retained.

The first part of the guidance is aimed at DPOs (data protection officers) and those with specific data protection responsibilities in larger organisations. It focuses on how PETs can help you achieve compliance with data protection law.

The second part is intended for a more technical audience, and for DPOs who want to understand more detail about the types of PETs that are currently available. It gives a brief introduction to eight types of PETs and explains their risks and benefits.