Information Commissioner sets the record straight on consent

August 17 17:16 2017 Print This Article

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has launched a series of blogs to set the facts straight about the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This week Denham covered the myths around consent.

The aim of GDPR is to create a higher standard for data protection, including consent.

“Consent under the current data protection law has always required a clear, affirmative action – the GDPR clarifies that pre-ticked opt-in boxes are not indications of valid consent. The GDPR is also explicit that you’ve got to make it easy for people to exercise their right to withdraw consent. The requirement for clear and plain language when explaining consent is now strongly emphasised. And you’ve got to make sure the consent you’ve already got meets the standards of the GDPR. If not, you’ll have to refresh it.”

There has been some confusion for organisation as they are unsure some seem to believe that data can only be processed only if you have explicit consent. However, that is not the case as it depends on the lawful basis for processes. The new regulation provides five other ways of processing data that may be more appropriate than consent.

Denham explains that “for processing to be lawful under the GDPR, you need to identify a lawful basis before you start.”

The lawful basis for processing is currently being worked on with other European authorities and they will and will publish the finalised document next year.

Another myth the Information Commissioner wants to set straight is that organisations can only start preparing once the ICO has published guidance, likely to be complete by December. However, organisations are encouraged to look at the ICO’s draft guidance on consent, which is not likely to change much so people can start preparing now.

If you want to clear up all the myths about GDPR, visit GDPR Summit London. It’s a one day event with a host of GDPR experts that will demystify the new regulation and provide you with a roadmap to compliance in time for May 2018.

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