Insights Information Commissioner’s Office consults on draft journalism code of practice


The ICO has published a draft statutory code of practice to help media organisations and key staff with their compliance responsibilities and to understand their obligations. The ICO is required to produce the code under s 124 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

The ICO says that the draft code provides practical guidance to help individuals understand data protection law and comply effectively with its requirements. The code does not concern press conduct or standards in general.

The code will be most helpful to media organisations and staff with data protection responsibilities, including lawyers, data protection officers and senior editorial staff. The ICO says that it will develop complementary resources to support more day-to-day journalism and smaller organisations. The code builds on the “Data protection and journalism: a guide for the media” published in 2014 following industry engagement. It takes into account the responses from the ICO’s initial call for views in 2019.

The ICO is also seeking views on a draft economic impact assessment. The responses will help it understand the code’s practical impact on organisations and individuals.

The ICO is encouraging interested parties to get in touch, including individuals involved in the media industry such as journalists, media organisations, photographers and private investigators. It is keen to hear a wide range of views, including those of regulators, civil society, campaign groups, lawyers, academics, and members of the public.

The consultation closes on 10 January 2022. To access the consultation, click here. To read the Information Commissioner’s blog post on the code, click here.