Data Protection Act: journalism exemption extends to charities

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Charities running campaigns or carrying out investigative work can use the journalism exemption from the Data Protection Act, according to new guidance released by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

In recently published guidance entitled 'Data protection and journalism: a guide for the media', the ICO states that "non-media organisations may be able to invoke the exemption if their purpose, in processing the specific information, is to publish information, opinions or ideas for general public consumption - even if they are not professional journalists and the publication forms part of a wider campaign to promote a particular cause or achieve a particular objective".

However, the guidance also makes it clear that "the information must be used only for publication, and not for the organisation’s other purposes".

To see if your campaign falls within this exemption, read the full guidance on the ICO website