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DP2018: Change is inevitable with the GDPR – but what about progress?


The ICO delivered the keynote address at Data Protection 2018, taking us across the GDPR spectrum with a look at themes such as implementation, ePrivacy and the role of education.

The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, told delegates that organisations are well – or perhaps more - underway in GDPR preparation and this means the new regulation is less foreboding than previously imagined.

“There are challenges but as May 25 comes towards us, I sense a more subtle mood.”

Watch Elizabeth Denham's keynote address to DP2018 here

She spoke of the role played by targeted guidance and support, such as the DMA’s own guidance, in helping organisations prep and thrive come the arrival of the GDPR.

And it was around this theme – the idea of change as inevitability – where Elizabeth Denham challenged delegates at Data Protection 2018, the wider UK marketing industry, asking: are you prepared? Will you progress as change comes?

"We are now in a new age of data protection", she continued.

And the ICO is adapting to meet the new challenges – not just GDPR, but ePrivacy as well - because electronic marketing will require consent, and the confidence that if you lean on legitimate interests, you can trust that legal basis.

The Information Commissioner thus urged that marketers spend time “establishing informed, active, unambiguous consent.”

Education, engagement, encouragement

Elizabeth Denham spoke of the ICO’s role as a pragmatic regulator – and she discussed the principles of the ICO approach to regulatory policy.

The focus will be on ICO leadership on implementation and oversight of the GDPR and other data protection reforms. The ICO will look at each case on its merits but promise a robust response as and where necessary.

The Information Commissioner talked about the ICO’s relationship with other regulators and agencies, before talking about the DMA and our influential role in helping marketers be as prepared as possible ahead of the GDPR.

Elizabeth ended her broadcast with an appeal to marketers to comply with the law, and care for the public you serve. Echoing the DMA’s own Code, she asked that we all put people at the heart of everything we do.

We must all work together to increase public trust and confidence in the way personal data is handled.

Click here for more Responsible Marketing and GDPR resources from the DMA

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