It seems it is not only the sceptics who doubt the need for the Fundraising Preference Service, nearly 60 charities have also been accused of ignoring the scheme and have now been reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
According to a report released by the Fundraising Regulator, 59 charities – including some national associations such as The Challenge Network and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation – have failed to log in to the FPS platform to find out who has asked to end communication.
The regulator has issued them with notices and the ICO has written letters reminding them of their legal duties.
When a suppression request is made through the service, the charity is automatically emailed and told to log in to the FPS system to “collect” the request. Charities then have 28 days to act on the request and stop contacting the individual.
The Fundraising Regulator said that despite making “repeated attempts” to contact each charity, the chief executives of each one have now been sent a final warning explaining that not acting may be a breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
A spokeswoman for The Challenge said: “We first received a letter from the Fundraising Regulator last week (February 28) and immediately logged onto the portal. We are taking the appropriate steps to make sure this one person is no longer contacted.”
Fundraising Regulator chief executive Gerald Oppenheim said: “The FPS is an important tool in helping to rebuild trust between members of the public, particularly those who are vulnerable, and the charity sector. Charities that fail to respect requests made by the public to stop unwanted communication risk damaging the good work done by the rest of the sector.
“Some charities may think they have valid reasons for not accessing the suppression request. Despite this, they are still in breach of the code and possibly in breach of the Data Protection Act, because the request is an individual’s wish to stop receiving direct marketing.”
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