The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is consulting on a new framework code of practice for the use of personal data in political campaigning. The framework code will serve both as helpful guidance in its own right as well as having the potential to become a statutory code of practice if the relevant legislation is introduced. The framework code does not introduce new requirements for campaigners but seeks to explain and clarify data protection and electronic marketing laws as they already stand. It also seeks to provide practical guidance and useful examples on ways campaigners could comply with their obligations whilst carrying out common political campaigning activities.
What is the purpose of this framework code?
This framework code provides clarity and practical advice to help those processing personal data in political campaigning to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 2 (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 20183 (DPA) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations4 (PECR).
About this framework code of practice
At a glance
- Being able to communicate with and engage voters, including using digital services, is an essential part of democratic life. It is equally important to retain the trust and confidence of voters in using their data and the integrity of elections.
- This framework code of practice (framework code) highlights the importance of processing personal data in compliance with data protection law during political campaigning.
- This framework code provides clarity and practical advice to help those processing personal data in political campaigning to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).
- Those processing personal data for the purposes of political campaigning who don’t comply with this framework code, are likely to find it difficult to demonstrate that their processing is fair and complies with the GDPR and PECR. Those not complying with the GDPR and PECR could face enforcement by the ICO including fines of up to £17m or 4% of global turnover.
The draft framework code is now out for public consultation and the consultation will remain open until Friday 4 October 2019.