Calls for views on data protection for journalists code

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The ICO are seeking views on a data protection code of practice for journalists use of personal data.

In a blog article the ICO speaks about the rights of individuals’ data applying to journalism just as for any other purpose, but noting “protecting freedom of expression, and the inherent public interest in a free press, is also crucial and something we have always recognised in our interpretation of data protection law and when using our regulatory powers.

The ICO have been involved in journalism related access to and processing of personal data in the past and have published some guidance aimed at the media. Whilst the GDPR hasn’t really changed anything with regards to how journalists make use of personal data, the ICO are obliged by the Data Protection Act 2018 to:

  • Publish a code of practice for journalists
  • Create guidance for the general public about what to do if they think they’re personal data has been misused in the course of journalism
  • Carry out periodic reviews of the industry (using the Code as the basis of the review)

So, to meet these obligations, the ICO are kicking off the first step by calling for views on the journalism code of practice. It looks like the code will be based on the existing guidance. The consultation closes on 27th May 2019

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