The Information Commissioner’s Office is drawing up plans for the first direct marketing code of practice and has launched a consultation, calling for input from industry bodies and companies which operate in the sector.
The move, a requirement under the UK Data Protection Act 2018, sees the code put on a statutory footing, meaning the ICO will be able to take serious cases to court.
Crucially the code will not be limited to covering compliance with the legal requirements of current legislation, it will also set good practice standards. These standards will be admissible as evidence in court or tribunal proceedings and carry more weight than those in the current guidance.
The new code will build on the current guidance and address the aspects of GDPR relevant to direct marketing, such as transparency and lawful bases for processing data, as well as covering the rules on electronic marketing – emails, text messages and phone calls – under PECR.
The consultation ends on December 24.
The DMA has already started canvassing members but is unwilling at this stage to detail what it sees as the major issues to tackle. However, it is urging members to take part.
John Mitchison, director of policy and compliance, said: “We welcome the ICO’s announcement about a new direct marketing code of practice and will take an active part in the consultation. As the UK’s leading industry association for data and marketing, we will represent our members to the ICO with the aim of striking the balance between privacy and innovation and ensuring a customer-centric approach as reflected in our own code and guidance.
“A new DM code will help our industry to clarify some of the areas we and our members have highlighted to the regulator in recent months, setting out clear guidance for the future of direct and data-driven marketing.”
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