On July 29, 2019, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced the 10 projects that it has selected, out of 64 applicants, to participate in its sandbox. The sandbox, for which applications opened in April 2019, is designed to support organizations in developing innovative products and services with a clear public benefit. The ICO aims to assist the 10 organizations in ensuring that the risks associated with the projects’ use of personal data is mitigated. The selected participants cover a number of sectors, including travel, health, crime, housing and artificial intelligence.
The projects selected by the ICO include proposals by the Greater London Authority, Heathrow Airport Holding Limited (which is looking at the use of facial recognition technology to streamline passenger journeys), NHS Digital and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, as well as private organizations such as FutureFlow, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited and Trust Elevate. The projects are expected to have completed their participation in the sandbox by September 2020. In announcing the projects selected for inclusion in the sandbox, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham highlighted the mutual benefit of the sandbox, stating that “the sandbox will help companies and public bodies deliver new products and services of real benefit to the public, with assurance that they have tackled built-in data protection at the outset.”