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New Commissioner praises ‘crucial’ Freedom of Information Act

John EdwardsThe new Information Commissioner has praised the “crucial” Freedom of Information Act after taking up his post.

John Edwards has been appointed to the role after spending the past eight years as New Zealand Privacy Commissioner.

He succeeds Elizabeth Denham, whose term as UK Information Commissioner ended last year.

Introducing himseld, Mr Edwards, pictured, said privacy was “a right not a privilege”.

He said: “In a world where our personal data can drive everything from the healthcare we receive to the job opportunities we see, we all deserve to have our data treated with respect.

“My role is to work with those to whom we entrust our data so they are able to respect our privacy with ease whilst still reaping the benefits of data-driven innovation.

“I also want to empower people to understand and influence how they want their data to be used, and to make it easy for people to access remedies if things go wrong.”

Mr Edwards went on to praise FoI, saying: “I welcome the opportunity to oversee the crucial Freedom of Information Act.

“Transparency that helps people understand and trust decisions made on their behalf has perhaps never been as relevant as across the past two years. I look forward to ensuring the law continues to be relevant in our changing world.”