ICO stands firm on ‘over strict’ GDPR consent guidance

commission 1Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has dismissed claims that UK firms are being held back by the regulator’s lack of GDPR consent guidance, insisting businesses should stick to its controversial draft guidance – branded “over strict” when it was released in March – as this is unlikely to change.
In the latest of her GDPR “myth-busting” blogposts, Denham also confirmed that consent guidance will not be published until December – as first revealed in Decision Marketing – while legitimate interests guidance will not be available until the new year.
She writes: “I know many people are waiting for us to publish our final guidance on consent. Businesses want certainty and assurance of harmonised rules. Waiting until Europe-wide consent guidelines have been agreed before we publish our final guidance is key to ensuring consistency.
“It’s unlikely that the [ICO’s draft guidance on consent] will change significantly in its final form. So you already have many of the tools you need to prepare.”
Her assertion that the ICO is unlikely to take on board responses to the draft guidance will set off alarm bells among direct marketers.
In April, the DMA cried foul over one key proposal, that it claimed would effectively sound the death knell of the third-party data industry. Under the plans, companies using and managing third-party data, would only be able to do so with named companies.
At the time, the DMA said the move would not only stifle growth, and cost the industry millions, but trigger mass redundancies across the sector.
In its response to the draft guidance, the DMA wrote: “An over strict interpretation of the GDPR will have a negative impact on consumers, have economic consequences for the marketing industry and impact the UK economy more broadly.”
The DMA argued that the requirement to specifically name third-party organisations rather than the sectors in which they operate is simply unworkable. It also believes that the proposals will result in an increase in untargeted and impersonal marketing, ultimately resulting in less relevance to consumers.
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