The RSPCA has blamed a “coding change” to its supporters’ database for sharing the data of 15,028 opted-out supporters through the now-defunct Reciprocate data pool, a move which resulted in enforcement action from the Information Commissioner’s Office.
In its annual report, the RSPCA said it that the change had “affected the way in which marketing suppressions were applied”, adding that it had brought the matter to the ICO’s attention, and asked for its guidance.
It stated: “There is no suggestion that we lost or sold any personal data, but rather the ICO considered the information we gave to supporters on how their personal data would be used was inadequate”.
The RSPCA said that it had “agreed a policy to stop sharing any of its supporter data with other charities or companies; it has reviewed its policy and the implementation of this policy, by ensuring that supporters and potential supporters consent to the use of their data, particularly in relation to receiving further communications from the society”.
The company behind Reciprocate, St Ives-owned Response One, is the subject of an ongoing ICO inquiry, despite the fact that the donor sharing service was axed in June last year.
The charity’s annual report also showed that in 2016 it received 503 complaints about its practices in 2016, which was around half received in 2015 and the lowest number in the past four years.
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