Information Commissioner’s Office launches call for views on data protection and journalism code of practice

The Data Protection Act 2018 imposes new obligations on the ICO in relation to journalism. Specifically it is required to:

  • produce a code of practice for the use of personal data in journalism;
  • create guidance for members of the public when they believe that their personal data has been misused in the course of journalism; and
  • carry out periodic reviews of how the industry is fulfilling its data protection obligations and report its findings to the Government. The ICO says that the code of practice will be the benchmark from which it will measure compliance when conducting these reviews.

As an initial stage in meeting its obligations, the ICO has launched a Call for Views on the journalism code of practice. The ICO is seeking input from relevant stakeholders, including media organisations, trade associations, data subjects and those representing the interests of data subjects. It will use the responses to inform its work in developing the code.

The ICO says that it will also use its existing media guidance as a framework to inform the code and will update the contents to reflect the requirements of the new legislation, and take account of developments in case law and the field of journalism more generally.

The ICO says that, ultimately, it wants the code to provide journalists and media organisations with a helpful, practical toolkit to assist them in complying with their data protection obligations.

The Call for Views closes on 27 May 2019. To access the consultation, click here.