Insights Information Commissioner’s Office publishes blog on progress of work on updating the ICO’s Journalism Code


The ICO is currently working to update its guidance and develop a new Code of Practice in line with the statutory requirement under s 124 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). As Anulka Clarke, Acting Director of Regulatory Assurance says: “This will help anyone processing personal data for the purposes of journalism to understand their legal obligations and how to comply effectively, including newspapers and magazines, television and radio broadcasters, and ‘citizen journalists’”.

The ICO held an initial call for views in April 2019 and Ms Clarke says that feedback has “already helped to shape the code”. Responding to the pandemic, and the shift in the ICO’s priorities, meant that it had to pause this work, but the ICO has now created a new team to take this work forward.

Ms Clarke says that the ICO wants the code to be ‘as practical and helpful as possible and deal with key issues that are relevant to journalism today”. This includes updates to reflect legislative changes and relevant case law. However, she says, “the best way for us to produce the most useful tool is to hear the views of journalists, media companies and anyone who is using or affected by the code”.

The ICO will be launching a public consultation over the summer. It will also publish a draft Code, explain how it has taken feedback into account, and ask for further feedback to help it consider impacts and the statutory review of processing for the purposes of journalism. To read the blog post in full, click here.