Insights Information Commissioner’s Office launches second consultation on the draft Data protection and journalism code


The ICO has launched a second consultation on a draft code of practice about using personal data for journalism (the Code). The Code provides practical guidance on how to comply with data protection legal requirements and good practice when using personal data for journalism. It is a statutory code under s 124 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). It does not concern press conduct or standards in general.

Following the first consultation that ended in January 2022, the ICO has considered the feedback received from the media industry and other stakeholders and held various workshops. As a result, it has significantly reduced the length and overall complexity of the Code by:

  • focusing on the Code’s key points by moving background information to supporting reference notes;
  • distinguishing clearly between legal requirements and good practice by explaining what must, should or could be done to comply;
  • developing quick reference guides to use: ten tips for journalists and the Code “at a glance”;
  • making the Code more user-friendly with plainer language and explanations so that it is helpful to a broader audience; and
  • providing greater clarity on the practical application of various areas of data protection where sought.

Although the focus of this consultation is the Code, the ICO is also seeking views on the following associated documents:

  • Supporting reference notes for the code
  • The code “at a glance”
  • Ten data protection tips for day-to-day journalism
  • Updated impact assessment.

The ICO encourages interested parties to get in touch, including anyone involved in the media industry or using personal data for journalism, such as media organisations, journalists, photographers and private investigators. The ICO is also keen to hear a wide range of views, including those of regulators, civil society, campaign groups, lawyers, academics, and members of the public.

Responses should be submitted through the ICO website by 16 November 2022. To access the consultation, click here.