The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a second consultation on a Draft Data Protection and Journalism Code of practice [pdf].  This is a statutory code under section 124 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018).   The consultation was launched on 21 September 2022 and closes on 16 November 2022.

The Code is intended to provide practical guidance on how to comply with data protection legal requirements and good practice when using personal data for journalism.

Following the first consultation that ended in January 2022, the ICO considered the feedback received from the media industry and other stakeholders, and significantly reduced the length and overall complexity of the code by:

  • focusing on the code’s key points by moving background information to supporting reference notes;
  • distinguishing clearly between legal requirements and good practice by explaining what must, should or could be done to comply;
  • developing quick reference guides to use – 10 tips for journalists and the code ‘at a glance’;
  • making the code more user-friendly with plainer language and explanations so it’s helpful to a broader audience; and
  • providing greater clarity on the practical application of various areas of data protection where sought.

Chris Taylor, ICO Head of Assurance, said:

“We have engaged with the media industry and journalists for the past few months, including holding workshops and considering the feedback they sent us through the first consultation. The insight gathered has been very valuable to us when updating the code and putting together new resources, and we are now seeking your views on them. Ultimately, we want to provide practical tools and guidance for anyone using persona data for journalism, so your feedback is crucial to achieve this.”

Although the focus of this consultation is the Draft Code, the ICO is also seeking views on the associated documents below:

The ICO has encouraged interested parties to get in touch, including anyone involved in the media industry or using personal data for journalism, such as media organisations, journalists, photographers and private investigators. The ICO has indicated that it is keen to hear a wide range of views, including those of regulators, civil society, campaign groups, lawyers, academics, and members of the public.

Responding to the Consultation

You can respond to this consultation in three different ways as set out below:

1. Reply directly online via Snap Survey:

2. Download this document and email responses to:

Data protection and journalism code of practice
Regulatory Assurance
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane