NEWS15 March 2021

Political campaign data guidance published

GDPR Media News Privacy Public Sector UK

UK – The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has updated its guidance on political campaigns’ use of personal data.

Online political ads laptop_crop

The ICO has changed the guidance to reflect the UK version of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), now the UK has left the European Union.

The guidance focuses on how people’s data should be used in digital political campaigning, in addition to traditional campaigns. It covers the collecting and processing of personal data of the electorate, using targeted messages, and what campaigners should do with data once a campaign is concluded.

It also includes advice on areas including the processing of sensitive category data including data on race or ethnic origin, health or public opinions. 

The new guidance follows a consultation on a draft framework code of practice launched by the ICO in October 2019.

Elizabeth Denham, information commissioner, said in a blog post: "Our investigation into the ecosystem of digital campaigning gave us a clear picture of how central the collection and use of data was to parties and campaigners. And our audits of seven political parties gave us even greater insight. This work has informed the drafting of our guidance.

"I will be writing to the political parties and other campaigners to draw attention to the updated guidance. Adherence to the guidance in the upcoming election campaigns is the best way to achieve compliance with the law."