PPA lobbies alongside ad industry and tech companies to keep ICO on EU board post-Brexit

Laura Rutkowski

The PPA has co-signed a letter to Brexit Secretary David Davis to support keeping the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on the European Data Protection Board.

Other signatories include the Advertising Association, the Direct Marketing Agency, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Sky and Unilever – among others. 

The ICO is the UK’s data protection regulator and is sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It operates as part of an EU-level network of data protection regulators. Post-Brexit, the ICO will cease to be included in that network.

The letter was written in response to a paper published by the Department for Exiting the European Union on August 24 on "The Exchange and Protection of Personal Data" following the UK’s exit from the EU.

The paper proposes an "adequacy plus" status, which will allow the ICO to keep its seat on the network post-Brexit.

The letter, addressed to Davis on December 4, outlines the industry's strong support for the proposal.

The letter read: "This deal should allow the Information Commissioner’s Office to continue to participate fully in the European Data Protection Board, including allowing the ICO full voting rights, and allow UK consumers access to the one-stop shop mechanism under the General Data Protection Regulation."

It continued: “Striking such a deal would be a huge gain for the entire UK economy but in particular for our world-beating marketing and advertising sector, which relies on being able to exchange personal data freely across EU borders.”

Copies of the letter have additionally been sent to Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox; Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley; Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock; and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson.

The full letter can be read here. The letter's signatories were as follows:


The Government has recently backed an amendment to the Data Protection Bill from Baroness Kidron that will require the ICO to create a code of practice on age-appropriate web design.

The code will set out the standards that websites and app creators must abide by in relation to children under the age of 16.

They will need to be transparent about what personal data is being collected on children and how it is being used.   

YouTube has become stricter with videos depicting children’s television characters in inappropriate and violent scenes, which have shown up on the site and on the children-only app YouTube Kids.

Now, YouTube is working to ensure that once flagged, the content is age restricted to only be viewed by adults.

Earlier this month in the US, Facebook revealed Messenger Kids, a version of its Messenger app that targets children as young as six.

It allows children to talk and send photos, videos and text messages to friends who are first approved by their parents or adult relatives. Facebook only allows users to sign up for a profile if they are 13 or older.

A UK launch date for Messenger Kids is yet to be confirmed. 

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