The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has made a new high-profile appointment as it looks to strengthen its commitment to "encouraging new ideas and emerging technologies" while protecting people's privacy.

Simon McDougall has been appointed as executive director for technology policy and innovation.

Currently managing director of Promontory, a risk management and regulatory compliance consulting firm acquired by IBM in 2016, McDougall has experience of working across a range of sectors and jurisdictions on privacy, compliance, digital initiatives and innovation.

He is also a well-known figure in the world of information rights, serving on the board of directors and the European advisory board at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) along with many other consultative and advisory groups.

MCDougall will lead new approaches to information rights practice and promote the legally compliant processing of personal data as a core element of new technologies and business systems.

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"I am honoured to have the opportunity to join the ICO and lead their work in this critical area," he said.

"Technological change continues to accelerate, and it is vital that the ICO remains constructively and robustly engaged as organisations innovate in the use of personal data."

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, added: "We have ambitious plans for our work in the crucial area of technology and also to ensure we are an innovative regulator, open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.

"As a globally respected figure in the world of privacy and innovation, Simon is a great fit for this new role, which will strengthen our expertise and responsiveness to new challenges and opportunities."

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