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21 November 2018

Call for Views – Direct Marketing Code of Practice


The ICO is calling for views on a direct marketing code of practice. It stated:

“The Data Protection Act 2018 requires the Commissioner to produce a code of practice that provides practical guidance and promotes good practice in regard to direct marketing.

While direct marketing is an important and useful tool to help organisations engage with people in order to grow their business or to publicise and gain support for their causes, it can also be intrusive and have a negative impact on people if done badly. This can cause reputational damage to organisations and, in some cases, result in fines or other regulatory action for breaking data protection laws.

So it is important that organisations ensure their marketing activities are compliant with data protection legislation (the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018) and, where necessary, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).

We have previously published detailed direct marketing guidance. The new code will build on that guidance and address the aspects of the new legislation relevant to direct marketing such as transparency and lawful bases for processing, as well as covering the rules on electronic marketing (for example emails, text messages, phone calls) under PECR.

The European Union is in the process of replacing the current e-privacy law (and therefore PECR) with a new ePrivacy Regulation (ePR). However the new ePR is yet to be agreed and there is no certainty about what the final rules will be. Because of this we intend for the direct marketing code to only cover the current PECR rules until the ePR is agreed. Once the ePR is finalised and the UK position in relation to it is clear we will produce an updated version of the code which takes this into account as appropriate.

This call for views is the first stage of the consultation process. The Commissioner is seeking input from relevant stakeholders, including trade associations, data subjects and those representing the interests of data subjects. We will use the responses we receive to inform our work in developing the code.

For the full story, click here to visit the ICO’s website.

By David Petty

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