Here is an interview with Paul McGuinness, former Director of Policy Planning for the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office.
He explains how he worked as an Information Commissioner, how the internet is changing how we think about government and what needs to be done to protect our data.
He has been a consultant to the Government and is now a Senior Policy Advisor with the Institute for Government, a think tank based at the University of Exeter.
He spoke to RTE by phone from his home in Edinburgh.
How did you get involved with this?
Paul McGuinness: I have been a specialist advisor to the Information Commissioner since 2010.
It was a job that I really enjoyed.
The role was quite rewarding.
It’s a really challenging job and a really interesting one.
It takes you to a different level of the game and brings you into the very high level of scrutiny.
You have to deal with people and they are dealing with government and I think the commissioners have got to be able to deal and be able do their job and do it well.RTE: How did you decide on the role?
Paul: I had been working in government and in the private sector, in both industries.
I was interested in how government works, how it operates, how people interact with government.
It really fascinated me.
RTE: Were you able to look at the whole spectrum of government?Paul