Data protection moved from the Ministry of Justice to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport | DMA

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Data protection moved from the Ministry of Justice to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport

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The Prime Minister, David Cameron, published a Written Ministerial Statement informing that responsibility for data protection policy, sponsorship of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and sponsorship of The National Archives will transfer from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

DCMS is already responsible for Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulation (PECR), making it the department tasked with dealing with nuisance calls and spam texts. The move creates one single government department leading both PECR and data protection policy.

Commenting on DCMS assuming responsibility for sponsorship of the ICO, Iain Bourne, group manager – policy delivery at the ICO, said that the organisation was happy with the move. He asserts that the update makes perfect sense given the existing working relationship between DCMS and the ICO, particularly on policies related to PECR.

The DMA has good relations with DCMS and works closely with civil servants there on a variety of issues. Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for the Digital Economy at DCMS, has been working with the DMA for some time, mostly on nuisance calls and spam texts. The DMA is a member of his taskforce that meets to discuss how best to tackle those issues.

Reassuringly, data protection policy teams at the MoJ will be moved straight to DCMS. This means that the MoJ negotiating team working on the Data Protection Regulation (DPR) will be maintained at a crucial time during the debate. This is vital for continuity and for ensuring the UK has the strongest possible voice at negotiations in Brussels.

The DMA looks forward to working with DCMS on both PECR and on data protection policy. Having both responsibilities consolidated into one department makes it easier for the DMA to represent the one-to-one marketing sector on these vital issues.

You can read the Written Ministerial Statement here.

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