Striking a balance between journalism and data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launches ‘Call for Views’ on the journalism code of practice.

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, the ICO, are required to produce a code of practice for the use of personal data in journalism. The previous media guidance produced under the Data Protection Act 1998, will be used as a basis for the new code, therefore updating the contents to reflect the requirements of the new legislation.

Alongside the code of practice, a guidance for the public will be created for when they believe that their “personal data has been misused in the course of journalism.” Additionally the ICO are required to carry out a review on how data protection obligations are being fulfilled which will be reported to the Government.

Steve Woods, the Deputy Commissioner for Policy said:

“It is important to remember that the ICO is not alone when it comes to helping journalists live up to their obligations. We are not a regulator of press standards more generally; our focus is on data protection issues arising from the use of personal information in journalism.”

“Ultimately we want the code to provide journalists and media organisations with a helpful, practical toolkit to assist them in complying with their data protection obligations,” said Woods.

Calls for Views has been launched, encouraging input from journalists, media companies, academics, bloggers and members of the public to submit their opinions in order to help the ICO with the practical guidance.

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