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Fundraising Regulator & Charity Commission issue joint data protection alert

The Fundraising Regulator and the Charity Commission have issued a joint alert to charity trustees on data protection law compliance, following the ICO’s recent investigation into the RSPCA and the British Heart Foundation.
The alert is to remind trustees that they must not only follow charity law requirements, but also ensure that there are systems in place at their charity to identify and comply with any data protection laws and regulations that apply to its activities.
According to the regulators, it should be read in conjunction with the published guidance on data protection by both the Fundraising Regulator, the Charity Commission (including its Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties CC20), and the ICO, and sets out a number of key steps that the regulators expect trustees to take:

The full alert is available on the Fundraising Regulator’s site.
The Commission, ICO and the Fundraising Regulator have also announced that they plan to host a joint event for charities early next year on data protection requirements. At the event, the Fundraising Regulator is also planning to launch practical guidance for the charity sector on data protection and consent issues, following on from the NCVO’s recommendations in September 2016.
Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said:

“The ICO’s monetary penalty notices for these two charities should be a wake-up call for the whole sector. Charities must meet their legal obligations to ensure that they always have the proper consents in place for the use of personal data, both by purpose and communication channel.”
“Achieving compliance with data protection law is now an urgent priority, if charities are to avoid further reputational risk and re-establish public and donor confidence in fundraising.”

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