The Information Commissioner’s Office has opened a consultation into its code of practice guidelines on data privacy notices.
ICO group manager for policy delivery, Jo Pedder, said the consultation will address the issue of confusing data privacy notices that are "too long, overly legalistic, uninformative and unhelpful".
“The code of practice has not been revised for several years which is a long time in the digital world,” she said. “The way personal data is used rapidly changes and the ICO has undertaken this review with that in mind,” she said.
“Ensuring that individuals have a clear understanding of what is done with their personal data is a fundamental point of the Data Protection Act. This code of practice has been written to show organisations how they can achieve this in a clear and engaging way."
The consultation comes in the run-up to new centralised EU data protection regulations which will require charities to have “unambiguous” consent before contacting people.
A finalised version of the European General Data Protection Regulation is expected in the Spring, according to an ICO spokeswoman. Charities will then have two years to update current data protection guidelines.
The ICO's current code of practice was developed in line with the European General Data Protection Regulation in mind, alongside the current Data Protection Act. However, the ICO confirmed it will ammend its final guidance once the consultation has closed.
Last month, NCVO set up a working group on opt-in fundraising, ahead of the EU’s changes to data protection law. The group, chaired by Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, will develop proposals for how charities should move to a system that complies with the new rules.
The Institute of Fundraising also said it was seeking legal advice over its data sharing policy, in line with the ICO’s changes to data sharing code of practice.
A spokesman for the IoF told Civil Society News in January: “We want it to be in sync with the ICO and we want to make these changes as soon as possible.”
The consultation was launched yesterday and will run for eight weeks until 24 March 2016.