Charities urged to apply for privacy and data protection grants » Charity Digital News

Charities urged to apply for privacy and data protection grants

Charities are being urged to apply for one of the grants The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has made available to promote and support independent, innovative research and solutions focused on privacy and data protection issues.

There will be a number of grants awarded each year. Awards will be for a minimum £20,000 and a maximum £100,0000.

The objectives of the ICO Grants Programme are to:

  • Support and encourage research and privacy enhancing solutions in significant areas of data protection risk, focused on projects that will make a real different to the UK public.
  • Increase awareness of privacy enhancing solutions with data controllers across the UK.
  • Improve understanding of how individuals view privacy issues, interactions with new technologies and promote better public awareness.
  • Promote uptake and application of research results by relevant stakeholders, including policy makers.
  • Develop existing privacy research capacity in academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Proposals do not need to be technology based but must have practical application and provide real world solutions that are of clear public benefit to the UK.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said: “Information Rights evolve with time. The new Grants Programme is designed to give practical research and policy a stronger voice in this evolution.

“At the core of our new Information Rights Strategic Plan is the objective of promoting trust for the public. Current research shows that 75% of the public don’t trust the way that their personal data is used. I want to see that number reduce and that requires evidence of what is causing the problem and well considered ideas for how to address it.”

Eligible organisations are invited to bid for grants to facilitate independent research and projects that meet one or more of the five strategic goals set out in the ICO’s Information Rights Strategic Plan:

  1. To increase the public’s trust and confidence in how data is used and made available.
  2. Improve standards of information rights practice through clear, inspiring and targeted engagement and influence.
  3. Maintain and develop influence within the global information rights regulatory community.
  4. Stay relevant, provide excellent public service and keep abreast of evolving technology.
  5. Enforce the laws we help shape and oversee.

In particular, the ICO is seeking proposals that align with goals 1, 2 and 4.

This year it is seeking privacy by design or accountability solutions which focus on key privacy challenges or the privacy implications of new technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, social scoring and blockchain.

The ICO is also interested in projects that address the privacy challenges related to children and the internet.

Further information about the Grants Programme, including eligibility, funding and outcome expectations is available on a dedicated page on the ICO website.

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