Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson has raised more than a few eyebrows by suggesting that the Fundraising Preference Service was a mere sideshow compared to the EU data reforms which – he claims – will require charities to use only opt-in data anyway.
His remarks – made at Third Sector’s Fundraising Week conference in London – come despite constant reassurances from the European Commission that the EU General Data Protection Regulation will not enforce an opt-in regime.
Predictions that the FPS could wipe out nearly half of all donations to charities – costing up to £3.5bn a year – appear to have fallen on deaf ears in the Government; the GDPR was the “bigger, more looming issue”, Wilson insisted.
He did at least acknowledge that there was some ambiguity in the wording of the GDPR, but added: “At the end of the day it will be a much more rigorous regime of people having to opt in. How rigorous it is and which route will be taken are yet to be finalised – but people should start preparing.”
Wilson said: “There is European legislation coming along the track that will hit everybody in 2018 and there are some very sensible charities that have chosen to pre-empt that early and make that progress now. I would advise everyone to start moving towards that now.”
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