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The latest public affairs news from the DMA


I have summarised the headline stories from the DMA’s quarterly public affairs bulletin but you can access the full report here.

Safe Harbour Agreement

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the Safe Harbour Agreement was invalid.

This means that some 4,000 US businesses that use the agreement to transfer personal data from the EU to the USA can no longer do so. The decision is immediately effective without a grace period.

The Article 29 Working Party – the grouping of Europe’s data protection authorities – have already scheduled an emergency meeting to discuss the consequences of the ECJ’s ruling. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognise that it’ll take some time for businesses to review their processes and ensure that all data is transferred in line with the law. So don’t panic.

There are two main other avenues, which businesses can use to transfer personal data to the US, they are; binding corporate rules and model clauses. Please see DMA guidance on these other options.


Over the summer fundraising featured prominently in the media. Olive Cooke, a committed fundraiser for the annual Remembrance Appeal, was thought to have committed suicide after receiving too many requests for money from charities. Her family later said that charity letters were not a factor in her death but the story had clearly touched a nerve. A number of follow-up stories, mostly in the Daily Mail, unearthed problems with charities sharing personal data and so-called ‘sucker lists’ where vulnerable people’s personal details are compiled.

The Government commissioned Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), to conduct a review of charity fundraising, joined by a panel of experts.

The report had a number of recommendations for government to improve the fundraising sector. Below are the headline announcements:-

- Replace the Fundraising Standards Board with a new regulator with the public interest at its heart. The new regulator would be better funded by charities and have strong working links with the ICO and Charity Commission and named the Fundraising Regulator.

- Creation of a fundraising preference service.

You can read the full report here.

EU Data Protection Regulation

The trilogue negotiations between the EU Commission, Council and Parliament into the data protection regulation are now well underway, beginning on 24 June before the summer break interrupted progress.

Now, the trilogue negotiations have run into trouble as the EU Parliament, Commission and Council struggle to reach agreement on a variety of issues including consent and profiling.

As a result, further discussions on chapter II (principles) and III (rights of individuals) have been pushed back until October to allow all parties to consider a revised version of the text. The Council, Commission and Parliament still aim reach political agreement, but this is different from agreeing a final version of the text. So once again a target on the Data Protection Regulation will be missed.

If you want to learn more about the regulation then visit the DMA toolkit.

You can read the full public affairs bulletin here.

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