Protecting people from predatory marketing calls is going to be one of the key focuses for the UK’s data protection regulator as part of a new plan.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will additionally look at how algorithms are used within the benefits systems and the impact the use of AI in recruitment is having on minority groups.

Information Commissioner John Edwards has set out the regulator’s priorities as part of the ICO25 plan, which includes a package of measures to help save businesses at least £100 million across the next three years.

Speaking on the topic he said: “My office will focus our resources where we see data protection issues are disproportionately affecting already vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.

Ludlow Advertiser: The new measures will be a part of the ICO25 plan (PA)The new measures will be a part of the ICO25 plan (PA)

“The impact that we can have on people’s lives is the measure of our success. This is what modern data protection looks like, and it is what modern regulation looks like.”

To help firms save money and improve compliance, Mr Edwards said the ICO would publish internal data protection and freedom of information training materials, as well as create a database of the advice the ICO has previously provided to businesses and the public that could be referred to by anyone looking for data protection guidance.

The commissioner, who began in the role at the start of the year, told the PA news agency that rather than spreading the regulator and its resources thinly, a more focused approach meant it could “be more selective and try and apply our resources and regulatory tools so that they will have the greatest impact for the most people”.

Ludlow Advertiser: The Information Commissioner wants a more focussed approach to ICO's work (PA)The Information Commissioner wants a more focussed approach to ICO's work (PA)

In unveiling the plan, Mr Edwards said: “It is absolutely clear to me that in a world of increasing demand, and shrinking resources, we simply cannot keep doing what we’ve been doing and expect the system to improve.”

Alongside this, the ICO25 plan will see the regulator take a revised approach to public sector fines, with the first priority to be improving data protection standards in public sector organisations when a breach occurs.