July 18, 2016

Charities that flout fundraising preference service would “be in breach of the law”

Introducing the service was one of the recommendations made by Sir Stuart Etheridge earlier this year.

Following a review into current rules, Sir Stuart argued there was a clear need for more robust regulation when it comes to fundraising.

While the FPS will be non-statutory in nature, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that any charities which ignore the service will be breaching the law.

Richard Marbrow, ICO’s senior policy officer, made the organisation’s position clear during a conference in London last week.

Its argument is that those people who choose to register are essentially withdrawing their consent to receive marketing communications. This means that charities who contact individuals regardless are deemed to be breaching the consent requirements of the Data Protection Act.

ICO has also urged the Fundraising Regulator to have the FPS applied to both text messages and automated calls as well as standard telephone calls. This would mean that it aligns more closely with the existing Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

George Kidd, who chairs the FPS working group, said earlier this year: “I believe we can create a service that works well for charities and other fundraising organisations, while meeting the public expectation that there is a way to easily deal with a situation where they feel they receive an unmanageable volume of fundraising requests.

“This will help us show that charities take public concerns and their obligations to good data stewardship seriously and are deserving of the public’s trust.”

Royds has a wealth of experience advising charity clients on the laws and regulations affecting the sector. For further advice on these matters contact Tony Millson or Deanna Hurst.

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