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UK Information Commissioner

Took up appointment as the Information Commissioner on 30 November 2002.
He has independent status, reporting directly to Parliament, with responsibility for enforcing the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection Act 1998.

His previous career has included:

  • Director of Public Policy at Clifford Chance (the international law firm);
  • Director of Consumer Affairs at the Office of Fair Trading;
  • Head of Public Affairs and Legal Officer at the National Consumer Council;
  • Solicitor with the Citizens Advice Bureau Service.

He has also previously held various public appointments, including membership of the Lord Chancellor’s Civil Justice Review Advisory Committee and the Board of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Practices law as a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London and has been involved a large number of prominent cases.

She was the British member of the recent International Bar Association Task Force on Terrorism and is currently chairing an inquiry for the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health into sudden infant death, in the aftermath of miscarriages of justice where mothers were wrongly convicted of murdering their babies.

As a life peer, she also participates in the House of Lords on issues concerned with human rights, civil liberties, social justice and culture.

From 1992 to 1997, she was chair of Charter 88, the constitutional reform group, which persuaded the new Labour government to make devolution and human rights legislation central planks of their manifesto. She is also on the board of the Independent newspaper.

From 1994 to 2002, she was chair of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), one of the most innovative and cutting-edge arts promoters and producers in the United Kingdom. She has also, since 1998, been chair of the British Council, the most successful cultural organisation in the world, which she has led through a period of dynamic change.

She is also currently chair of the Human Genetics Commission, which advises the UK government on the ethical, social and legal issues arising from developments in genetic science.

of Upholland
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Was born in Upholland in Lancashire, from where she takes her title “Baroness Ashton of Upholland”.

She studied Economics at London University, working later in the voluntary, public and private sectors. From 1983 to 1989 she was Director of Business in the Community working with business to tackle inequality, with them she established the Employers Forum on Disability, Opportunity Now - to remove the glass ceiling for women at work, and the Windsor Fellowship – to support minority ethnic undergraduates into work.

Chaired the Health Authority in Hertfordshire from 1998 to 2001, and her children’s school governing body and became a Vice President of the National Council for One Parent Families, before becoming a Minister in 2001.

In 1999 she was given a life peerage, became an Education Minister in 2001 and joined DCA in 2004. In 2005 she was voted House Magazine Minister of the Year and Channel 4 Peer of the Year. She became a Privy Councillor in May 2006.

Surveillance Studies Network

Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape and a researcher in the Global Urban Research Unit at Newcastle University. He is also the Managing Editor of 'Surveillance & Society', and one of the founders of the new Surveillance Studies Network. He is an urban geographer interested in three particular areas: studies of surveillance technologies in urban and transnational space; the interface between military technologies and civil society; and pervasive, or ubiquitous, computing - the embedding of computer systems in almost all objects and increasingly, people. He is currently working on three major projects, the first for the Economic and Social Research Council New Security Challenges Programme on The Everyday Resilience of the City; the second funded by various bodies including the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and The Japan Foundation on Surveillance in Japan; and finally work funded by the US National Science Foundation on Implantation and Surveillance. His recent and forthcoming publications include articles in 'International Relations, Society and Space and Urban Studies', several chapters in edited collections, and he is currently working on a book, 'New Geographies of Surveillance'.

University of Surry, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering
Professor read for a first degree in Engineering, intending to go into the computer industry. However, he transferred into sociology and obtained his doctorate on the sociology of scientific knowledge from the University of Cambridge. His research and teaching interests have reflected his continuing interest in both sociology and computer science (and engineering more widely).

His main research interests are process theories of social phenomena, the development of computational sociology and the methodology of computer simulation, especially agent-based modelling. He is Director of the Centre for Research on Social Simulation and Director of the University's Institute of Advanced Studies, responsible for its development as a leading centre for intellectual interchange.

He is the author or editor of several textbooks on sociological methods of research and statistics and editor of the 'Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation'. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is on the Council of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Director of Liberty

Has been Director of Liberty since September 2003.

She joined Liberty as in-house Counsel on 10 September 2001 and became heavily involved in its engagement with the 'War on Terror' and with the defence and promotion of human rights values in Parliament, the Courts and wider society. She is a barrister and was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in 1994 and worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until the summer of 2001. During that time she worked on policy, legislation and litigation in the counter-terror, asylum and criminal justice areas, and on the implementation of the Human Rights Act within Government.

Since becoming Liberty’s Director she has written, spoken and broadcast widely on the importance of the post-WW2 human rights framework as an essential component of democratic society.

She is a Governor of the London School of Economics and sits on the Advisory Board of the British Institute of Human Rights and the Executive Committee of the Administrative Law Bar Association.

Director General of the Federal Office for the Records of the National Security Services of the former DDR and director of a successful SEO company

Was born in 1949 in Oldenburg and studied Law, Education Science, Political Science, German language and literature studies in Hamburg. He entered the Higher Public Service in Hamburg in 1980 and held various positions in the public administration of Hamburg, including special responsibilities for legal affairs, and the head of department of Youth and Family assistance. In 1993 he became the Senate Director and chief officer of the public administration office of the municipal authority for schools, youth issues and vocational training. In 2001, he became the Director of the Federal Commissioner for the records of the State Security Service of the former DDR (BStU). The BStU is a federal agency with 2,100 employees in Berlin and 13 regional offices.

Lecturer in law and criminology
Is a Fellow and tutor in law at Somerville College, University of Oxford. He holds undergraduate degrees in law and economics from the University of Tasmania, and a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and a Doctorate in Philosophy (DPhil) from the University of Oxford. His major research interests are in the use of surveillance technology by the police, and the relationship between individual privacy rights and the criminal law. He also writes on aspects of the Japanese criminal justice system, and is a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and an Associate Member of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies.
Prior to taking up his current position at Somerville, he taught criminology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, and comparative criminal law at the University of Niigata, Japan.

Chair of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)

Worked for the Security Service (MI5) for 27 years, for the last six (1996-2002) as its statutory Director General. He was subsequently the first Independent Commissioner to the Law Society and a non-executive director of HMCE. He was appointed Chair of the UK’s new Serious Organised Crime Agency in 2004. In addition, he has a number of private sector non-executive roles and sits on the Regulation Board for Solicitors. He was appointed CB in 1995 and KCB in 2000.

Head of Prime Minister's Delivery Unit
Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office running the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. In this role he is helping to deliver the PM’s top public service priorities and act as his key advisor on delivery. He is leading the Cabinet Secretary’s capability review programme of Whitehall Departments. He also retains overall management responsibility for the Government’s IT agenda and CIO Council. Before joining the Civil Service in September 2004, he was UK Managing Director of Accenture. In a personal capacity he is on the Board of the English Institute for Sport, focused on serving high performance athletes in preparation for Olympic and other major sporting events.

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

Has been a judge at the European Court of Human Rights since1991and Section Vice-President of the Court since 2000. He was a senior researcher of the Institute of Legal Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences 1978-1990. He has a PhD in Legal Sciences and has been a Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at the National School of Public Administration, Budapest since 1989. He was the rector and President of the Board of the National School of Public Administration from 1990-1998.

CEO of Experian
In 1980, he co-founded a business called CCN, as part of the Great Universal Stores group, to provide information services to retailers and other lending organisations.

By the mid-nineties, CCN had become one of Europe’s largest information services companies, with revenues of over £100 million and employing over 3,000 people, mainly in the UK. Over the next few years, he went on to lead the acquisition by GUS of a number of large US and European information services businesses. These were then combined with CCN to form a global information services organisation called Experian, with John Peace as its worldwide chief executive.

In 1997, he was appointed to the Board of GUS plc, becoming Group Chief Executive of GUS in January 2000 and since then has spearheaded a major restructuring strategy to refocus the Group. This has seen GUS transformed from what many saw as a sprawling, old-fashioned catalogue mail-order company into a highly successful international retail and business services company, including the acquisition and disposal of over 70 businesses worldwide. In the past five years, GUS shareholder value has more than trebled, while the FTSE 100 as a whole lost value.

In June 2002, John Peace was appointed Chairman of Burberry Group plc, in advance of its partial flotation by GUS in July 2002, and later this year, will take on the role of Chairman of Experian, following the planned demerger of its two main businesses in October 2006.

He is also the Chairman of Board of Governors, Nottingham Trent University, a trustee of the Djanogly City Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, and a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Nottinghamshire.

Privacy Consultant, Victoria, Canada
Specialist in the management of privacy and information policy issues. He served a six-year term as the first Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Province of British Columbia (1993-99). His achievements in office included an enviable record for successful mediation of access to information disputes, 320 Orders under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the development of site visits to public bodies (hospitals in particular) as a form of privacy auditing.

He began his involvement with privacy issues as an assistant to Alan F. Westin at Columbia University in 1964 and published his first book ('Privacy in Colonial New England') in 1972. In 1974 he started comparative public policy work in Europe and North America that led to a series of books (including 'Protecting Privacy in Surveillance Societies: The Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, France, Canada, and the United States' (1989)).

He has an MA and PhD. from Columbia University and taught from 1965 to 1993 at Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Western Ontario, where he was professor of history and law from 1972 to 1999 and is now professor emeritus. He was the first director (1984-89) of its Centre for American Studies and has held fellowships and scholarships at Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and Georgetown Universities. In 1992-93 he was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar in Law. He has been an adjunct professor in political science at the University of Victoria since 1999.

As a consultant, he has advised on the management of privacy issues and of relationships with privacy authorities, privacy advocates, and the general public; conducted overall assessments of privacy compliance (privacy reviews, audits, site visits, knowledge transfer); prepared Privacy Impact Assessments; and developed privacy codes to comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (and its provincial equivalents).

He was a Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada in 1999 in support of Bill C-6, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. He has co-authored 'Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act: An Annotated Guide' (Irwin Law, Toronto, January, 2001). He also co-authored the 'Guidelines for Managing Privacy, Data Protection and Security for Ontario Hospitals' (a report prepared by the Ontario Hospital eHealth Council’s Privacy and Security Working Group – July 2003).

Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Was appointed Canada's Privacy Commissioner by the Governor in Council, effective December 1, 2003, on unanimous resolutions adopted by both the House of Commons and the Senate, for a seven-year term. She has led the Office's institutional renewal, and has also reoriented it toward its multi-disciplinary approach to preventing privacy breaches in the public and private sectors, and to protecting and promoting the privacy rights of Canadians.

She was previously President of the 'Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec', an organisation responsible for both access to information and the protection of personal information. She has held several senior positions in public administration for the Governments of Québec and Canada, including at the Canadian and the Quebec Human Rights Commissions. She has been active in the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, and has also lectured on history and legal sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University.

Is a freelance broadcaster who works with the BBC on a variety of business programmes including BBC’s World’s World Business Report. She is an experienced conference facilitator and has worked with many British and international companies across a range of different sectors, chairing their in-house meetings and bringing an independent voice to their debates. Her work often includes chairing question and answer sessions and challenging the management team on the issues that matter to the audience. Recently, she has worked with groups from the financial sector, including Prudential, HBOS, KPMG and Ernst & Young. In the consumer products sector, she spent six weeks conducting workshops with the Swiss giant, Nestle, and has also worked extensively with the tobacco group, Gallaher. In engineering she worked with IMI and in the technology sector, Hewlett Packard and the software company, Amdocs.

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