Charities which ignore the Fundraising Preference Service would still be in breach of the law – and liable for fines of up to £500,000 – despite the fact that it is not a statutory requirement, the Information Commissioner’s Office has confirmed.
Speaking at a conference in London late last week, the ICO senior policy officer Richard Marbrow said the FPS would have legal status because the regulator would view consumer sign-ups as a withdrawal of consent to receive marketing communications.
Marbrow some professionals had suggested charities would be able to ignore the service because it was non-statutory but the ICO could pursue a them for breaching the consent requirements of the Data Protection Act. DPA breaches carry a maximum fine of £500,000.
Although former Information Commissioner Christopher Graham initially criticised the FPS for being confusing, the regulator now wants the service to apply to all marketing communications, bringing it under the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations. Breaches of PECR carry a maximum fine of £250,000.
One study estimated that up to 30 million people could sign up to the FPS.
The move comes as Graham’s successor Elizabeth Denham takes up the role from today (July 18). She said: Ms Denham said: “I am delighted to have taken up this position and am excited about the challenges ahead. I look forward to working with staff and stakeholders to promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.”
Denham, who will serve a five year term as Information Commissioner, has held senior positions in privacy regulation in Canada over the last 12 years. Since 2010 she has been the Commissioner at the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada.
Fears grow over charity preference service budget
Charity preference service ‘could be axed by 2018’
Minister: Forget FPS, EU laws will force opt-in anyway
Charity FPS: Who are you trying to Kidd, George?
Top charity groups wade into preference service row
Up to 30 million could sign up for charity opt-out
Public back charity opt-out service to restore trust
Charities to lose £5bn a year, says REaD group study
Reforms to exterminate £2bn from charity sector
Graham slams ‘confusing’ charity preference service
To leave a comment please register – it takes less than a minute and is free of charge. You will also get our weekly email update The DM Report (to opt out contact firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are an existing user, please log in. If you have forgotten your log-in details please email email@example.com to get them reset!