The Digital Economy Bill | DMA

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The Digital Economy Bill


The Digital Economy Bill is a new piece of legislation currently progressing through Parliament and it will put the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Direct Marketing Guidance on a statutory footing. The guide must offer practical advice on how to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

This means that the government can refine data protection law in the UK without having to pass a new Act of Parliament. Statutory instruments are useful way to update or amend current laws. However, a statutory instrument cannot be used to fundamentally alter primary legislation, which in this case includes the DPA and PECR.

The Bill also requires the ICO to consult with industry before the guidance can be approved. There is an obligation to specifically speak with trade associations for example, such as the DMA. This is positive news for one-to-one marketing as it means the industry will have a say over the rules which will govern it.

The ICO must also consult with consumers and groups or persons that in the view of the ICO represent the interests of consumers.

The DMA is currently speaking with the ICO to discuss the issues where the guidance goes beyond existing legislation and to bring to their attention areas in the guidance that need clarification.

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