Who: Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”)

Where: UK

When: 12 November 2018

Law stated as at: 26 November 2018

What happened:

On 12 November 2018, the ICO issued its consultation and call for views on an updated direct marketing code of practice.

The aim of consultation is to collate views on direct marketing and compliance with the new data protection legislation (the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018) to allow the ICO to then update its direct marketing guidance. This will allow the ICO to comply with its obligations under section 122 the Data Protection Act 2018, to publish guidance on a number of subjects, including direct marketing.

The updated guidance will address key parts of the new data protection legislation such as transparency and the lawful bases for processing, alongside the rules on direct marketing contained within the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

The ICO clarified that the guidance will not be revised at this point to take account of the changes to the e-privacy law, which are being negotiated by the European Union because these changes are not yet agreed.

The consultation is the first stage in the ICO’s process of updating the guidance and asks for respondent’s input on:

  • What changes should the ICO focus on in the updated direct marketing code?
  • Whether they agree with the ICO’s approach of revising the code again once the updated e-privacy law is finalised?
  • Case studies or marketing scenarios which it would be useful to include?

The deadline for respondents to submit their views through the ICO website is 24 December 2018.

Why this matters:

Recent changes to the data protection regime in the UK have caused some uncertainty amongst marketers about what constitutes best practice when carrying out direct marketing, including issues surrounding consent and cookies, and therefore updated guidance from the ICO will be welcome.