The ICO – Taking a clear stance on charities profiling donors

Corporate and Commercial / 19 April 2017

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recently issued 11 charities with a financial penalty under the Data Protection Act 1998 following the misuse of donors’ personal data.

Following investigations, the ICO found that a number of the charities secretly screened millions of donors to allow them to target specific donors for additional funds in the future.

The charities targeted donors by analysing a range of personal information obtained from other sources, and even traded personal details with other charities.

The ICO fined the following charities the following amounts:

  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare – £18,000
  • Cancer Support UK – £16,000
  • Cancer Research UK – £16,000
  • The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association – £15,000
  • Macmillan Cancer Support – £14,000
  • The Royal British Legion – £12,000
  • The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – £12,000
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity – £11,000
  • WWF-UK – £9,000
  • Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home – £9,000
  • Oxfam – £6,000

Profiling can enable aspects of an individual’s personality or behaviour, interests and habits to be determined, analysed and predicted.

The GDPR, when it comes into force in May 2018, will introduce stricter provisions to protect individuals from this type of processing.

If you are using personal data and unclear on what the GDPR will mean for you and your business, please get in touch.


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