21 February 2013

The ICO has launched a short consultation on a proposed new, voluntary data protection code of practice for the press.

Following his consideration of the impact of the current data protection law on the press, Lord Justice Leveson recommended that the ICO should prepare comprehensive guidelines and advice on the principles and standards to be observed by the press in the processing of personal data. The proposed code will focus on section 32 of the DPA (the “special purposes exemption”) and will advise journalists how to comply with the DPA and how to handle data in a manner which is consistent with the principles of the DPA. The aim of this initial consultation is to develop a common understanding between the ICO and its stakeholders over the scope and structure of the code of practice (a skeleton index having been proposed) and to ensure there is agreement that the code should be issued under s.51 of the DPA.

The closing date for this consultation is 15 March 2013. A full public consultation on the code itself will follow.

The consultation is available here.