The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has recently published a blog post clarifying its information technology and digital default strategies approach. This comes in line with the recent merging of its customer service and information technology teams.
These two teams now form one "Customer and Business Services Department". The main objective for the ICO is modernisation and moving the organisation into the digital world. The ICO as a regulator collects and processes information from a number of different organisations and due to this high volume of data handling it has recognised that its own technology and internal systems must be up to scratch to meet this demand. The ICO is keen to be efficient and value for money for the public, this is central to its digital strategy.
The ICO highlights in its blog its commitment to digital services via its data protection registration service which was launched in 2014. This online registration service has been a success as seen with the 90% of those who have enlisted. Interestingly the ICO will be launching a pilot 'live chat' service on its website where members of the public can pose queries in real time to a customer services representative.
If this scheme is a success the ICO hopes to roll it out permanently. Further to this the ICO will be developing new casework management solutions to make asking for advice and getting complaints resolved easier online. With regards to social media, the ICO has had this channel open for a while, allowing the public to contact them via Twitter - @ICONews. It is hoped that the social media aspect will grow in line with the growth of the ICO's digital capabilities. This is aided by the launch earlier in the year of the ICO's new website which serves as a platform for its revised digital approach. The website has been made more user friendly and provides links through to the ICO's Twitter, Facebook, Linkd In and Youtube accounts. Furthermore users of the site have the option to translate the site's contents or for those who are visually impaired they can opt to 'Listen' to the site. The ICO makes clear that by offering these digital services it is providing another point of contact for the public, which reflects the current increasing trend towards social media, online data collection and technology. This new approach seeks to streamline how the ICO receives and deals with complaints, making it more fluid for the public. The ICO blog in itself demonstrates this move into the digital world and aids transparency within the ICO vs general public relationship.