Data Reform Bill – update and how it might affect you

Whether your interest is in data protection, charity governance, fundraising or technology, this will affect you …

Last week, the UK government published its response to the consultation on proposed changes to the UK GDPR and UK data protection regulations. They consulted last Autumn and have now responded, mostly by confirming they are making the changes they originally proposed, and you can see their full response at

There is quite a way to go before any changes actually happen, as first the Bill needs to be published, debated and given Royal Assent. Then our regulator, the ICO, needs to issue guidance on what the changes mean and how to implement them.

In launching the proposals on 17th June, Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said that unnecessary paperwork would be replaced and £1 billion would be saved. One way of estimating what it means to us individually, is as follows:

  • The total GPD of UK businesses is estimated to be £2,362 billion.
  • A £1 billion saving equates to 0.04% of income
  • So for an organisation with an income of £1 million, the savings could be in the order of £42

Now, this is a very rough estimate, but I do wonder whether it’s worth the upheaval that the changes will require, after all the work we have done (and continue to do) to comply with the UK GDPR?

I am planning a webinar on what the changes will mean but a potential benefit for non-profits, is the change that will allow the use of soft opt-in for email and SMS marketing i.e. fundraising. This will mean that in some cases we will not need to rely on consent. However, the detail will be important and hopefully answer questions such as:

  • Will political campaigning be excluded (which seems likely) and how is ‘political’ defined?
  • How do we transition from a consent model to a model that relies on legitimate interest and soft opt-in?
  • How will supporters react to a sudden increase in fundraising appeals from organisations that they have not consented to?
  • How will our CRM systems cope with the necessary record-keeping?

Look out for details of the free webinar in an insight newsletter shortly.