The ICO is inviting tenders for the design of a new logo which will be licensed to scheme operators. So far, the ICO has carried out some exploratory consumer research and early design work. They claim this has reinforced the importance of ensuring the logo represents a unique seal which both resonating with consumers and works for organisations who must be able to display it in various environments.
Each scheme operator must gain accreditation from the UK Accreditation Service and will then be able to allow organisations that meet the operator's assessment criteria to display their seal on their products.
There has been some calls for the ICO to delay its progress on privacy seals until the planned EU General Data Protection Regulation is finalised. However, the ICO has said that it is likely that its approach will be consistent with the final Data Protection Regulation.
Gemma Farmer, senior policy officer at the ICO, said there are a "number of benefits" to the ICO developing a privacy seals framework.
"Firstly, the awarding of a seal will help to promote organisations that are going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to looking after people’s information, giving them an opportunity to gain an advantage over their competitors," Farmer said. "Secondly, the seal will help to build consumer trust and choice, as it will demonstrate that an organisation is looking after their information to a notably high standard. More widely, the seal will raise the bar for privacy standards across the UK by incentivising good practice."