Ireland proposes business-friendly changes to draft Data Protection Regulation | DMA

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Ireland proposes business-friendly changes to draft Data Protection Regulation

Ireland has produced revised proposals on the requirements for consent under the draft Data Protection Regulation to avoid click fatigue among consumers. Ireland, who currently holds the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, proposes to replace the requirement for “explicit” consent with “unambiguous” consent.

Click fatigue has, says Richard Thomas, the former UK Information Commissioner, turned us into a “nation of liars” since we all tick the box without reading the privacy policy/terms and conditions because we want to get whatever goods or services we are asking for.

This forces individuals to give consent by clicking tick boxes confirming that they have accepted the privacy policy/terms and conditions without even getting past the first line. However, explicit consent would still be required for the processing of sensitive personal information relating to a person’s health, religion, trade union membership and ethnic origin.

The Irish Presidency is also calling on organisations to be more transparent in their data collection notices/privacy policies, which should be easily accessible, easy to understand and use clear and plain language.

If this proposal were adopted it would hopefully mean that provided organisations gave individuals the required information in the prescribed manner, they could continue to use an opt-out for direct marketing purposes.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is part of a global sweep to improve the privacy policies of websites.

James Milligan Solicitor, Direct Marketing Association

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