UK ICO Offers Guidance on the GDPR; Final Draft Expected Soon

    Apr 11, 2017

    In March the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) published a draft of its guidance for the consent requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The draft describes how the ICO interprets the constent requirements of the GDPR and the recommended approach to complying with it.

    Jo Pedder, interim head of Policy and Engagement for the ICO, and point person for the guidance, issued a statement on an ICO blog about the draft and welcomed the public to comment. (The comment period has since closed.)

    Pedder wrote of how the GDPR sets a high standard for consent: “It builds on the Data Protection Act (DPA) standard of consent in a number of areas, and it contains significantly more detail on both the standard and processes for consent. Basing your processing of customer data on GDPR-compliant consent means giving individuals genuine choice and ongoing control over how you use their data, and ensuring your organisation is transparent and accountable.”

    She empahsized that “getting this right” is beneficial to the organizations as well because it’s essential to good customer service and will help build confidence and trust: “It’s one way to set yourself apart from the competition and will be fundamental to the growth of the digital economy.”

    Pedder noted that the guidance explains the ICO’s recommended approach to compliance and what counts as valid consent. It provides practical help to decide when to rely on consent and when to look at alternatives. It also explains the key differences with the DPA and gives advice about existing DPA consents.

    The final draft of the guidance is expected to be published in May. 

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