GDPR will bring 50 or 60 changes to code, says regulator's head of policy

Gerald Oppenheim of the Fundraising Regulator says the General Data Protection Regulation, due next year, will have to be written into the Code of Fundraising Practice at some point

Gerald Oppenheim
Gerald Oppenheim

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation will require 50 to 60 changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice, according to Gerald Oppenheim, head of policy at the Fundraising Regulator.

Speaking at the Institute of Fundraising’s fundraising convention in London yesterday, he said the regulator was working through the code to find out how it would be affected by the GDPR, new European data-protection legislation that is due to come into force in May 2018.

He said updating the code to take the new rules into account would be a complicated undertaking.

"The GDPR will have to be written into the code very clearly at some point," Oppenheim said.

"We have already started looking through the code at where it refers to data protection, even in the most general sense," he said. "We’ve found 50 to 60 places where the code needs to change, even where it’s just a wording change or something as simple as that."

He said the regulator was waiting for the Information Commissioner’s Office to issue its final guidance on the GDPR after it ran a consultation on draft guidance throughout March.

"We’re still waiting for that consultation document to be turned into further guidance from the ICO," Oppenheim said. "That will obviously affect how we change the code."

He said he did not expect to be ready to reveal the code changes to the sector until later in the summer.

During the same session, Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the IoF, said the umbrella body would not be releasing guidance telling charities whether or not to change their policies on communication to opt-in only.

Each charity would have to make the decision for itself based on its individual circumstances, he said.

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