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ICO builds on layered approach to privacy notices

18 October 2016

In its recently published updated code of practice for privacy notices, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has promoted the use of 'just in time' notifications (pop-up messages that appear when data is inputted into a data capture field informing the individual of how their data will be used). Using other innovative means such as icons, video, voice prompts and privacy dashboards are likely to be acceptable for gaining consent for processing activities.

The Code of Practice builds upon the ICO’s previous endorsement of a layered approach to privacy notices, whereby key privacy information is provided immediately, such as the identity of the business and a general description of the way in which the data will be used, with more detailed information being provided elsewhere. This approach is particularly useful for apps and mobile devices where it can be difficult to display large quantities of text.

The Code confirms that businesses will be “well placed to comply with the requirements of the (General Data Protection Regulation) regime” by following the Code. The GDPR imposes more detailed rules on the content of privacy notices.

The updated guidance is likely to be welcome news for businesses, particularly those that rely heavily on mobile and application based communications, as it offers a wider degree of flexibility in the communication of data processing activities.

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