ICO plots consumer campaign in run-up to GDPR D-Day

Elizabeth-Denham1The Information Commissioner’s Office has confirmed it will launch a consumer marketing campaign in April designed to educate the public about their new privacy rights, although it insists the move “is not really about GDPR”.
Speaking at the DMA Data Protection 2018 conference, the ICO’s head of corporate affairs Robert Parker said the campaign was about “increasing public trust and confidence in how organisations store and use public data”.
He added: “Informing and educating the public is the first step in the behaviour changed needed to ensure the success of data regulations for brands, the public, third sectors and the regulator. The campaign is not really about GDPR or May 25. But GDPR is an opportunity to increase public trust.”
In October last year, the ICO contacted a number of organisations to invite them to get involved in the initiative, including Comic Relief, RBS, the BBC and Sainsbury’s, as well as its agency Squad, which worked on a rebrand of the regulator as well as an ID theft awareness campaign for students.
In a pre-recorded speech, aired at the DMA event, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham (pictured) said: “I am delighted to report that the response was extremely positive and work has been progressing at pace with true cross sector participation to get messages and materials prepared that you can refer to or use directly in your own communication activities.”
With still no sign of the “massive” consumer campaign promised by the European Commission, the Government has come under increasing pressure to launch its own initiative.
Exact details of the campaign are still not available, and it is not known whether Whitehall will be coughing up any budget, although it will feature the strapline “Your Data Matters”.
PwC director Fedelma Good said: “There will be different materials and messages that help to explain to people in straightforward and practical ways how they can exercise their rights, but not in a way that leads to an unreasonable drive to exercising those rights.
“There are concerns that an education campaign may drive an increase in people exercising their rights. That is inevitable but it is not the objective. It is about achieving a baseline of balanced information to help people understand when exercising their rights make the best sense.”

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