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NZ Privacy Commissioner tipped for top British posting – Stuff.co.nz

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards is reportedly the front runner for a top British posting.

Monique Ford/Stuff

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards is reportedly the front runner for a top British posting.

New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has been tipped by The Sunday Times in Britain as the frontrunner to be the head of England’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The Wellingtonian would not comment when contacted on Sunday but, according to The Sunday Times, had been recommended for the job by Secretary of State for digital, culture, media and sport Oliver Dowden. His appointment was awaiting approval by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The ICO is United Kingdom’s independent body set up to uphold information rights.

The potential job came as the British Government is cracking down on big technology firms, of which Edwards has previously been highly-critical.

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Earlier this year, Edwards criticised Facebook and Twitter’s bans on former US President Donald Trump.

“The Twitter and Facebook bans are arbitrary, cynical, unprincipled and further evidence that regulation of social media platforms is urgently required,” Edwards tweeted.

“We should not be abdicating responsibility for the tough policy decisions required and delegating responsibility for our community standards to conflicted corporates.”

He also lashed out at Facebook, on Twitter, and said it “cannot be trusted” following the 2019 terror attacks on mosques in Christchurch which were live-streamed on Facebook.

“They are morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (Myanmar), facilitate foreign undermining of democratic institutions,” he said.

He later deleted the tweet due to the “volume of toxic and misinformed traffic they prompted”.


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