Insights Information Commissioner’s Office publishes consultation on draft guidance for the research provisions within the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018


The ICO says that data protection law contains several provisions for processing personal data for research purposes, and that the aim of the guidance is to highlight where in the legislation the various provisions that relate to research can be found, how they fit together and their practical effect. It also provides guidance on the definition of key terms, which will help organisations understand when they can rely on the research provisions.

The guidance is intended to provide more detail and clarity about this complicated area of data protection. It aims to help those engaged in research to carry out their processing while being compliant with the law and should give researchers confidence to make use of the provisions where appropriate.

The research provisions are currently under consideration as part of the Government’s stated intent to reform data protection laws. However, the ICO says that it is important that it develops guidance on the current legislation to support organisations using personal data for research purposes now. The ICO also believes that the draft guidance addresses some of the issues identified in the data protection reform consultation as being problematic to organisations engaging in research. The ICO says that it will keep any guidance it produces in this area under review to ensure it reflects any future changes.

The deadline for responses is 5pm on Friday 22 April 2022. To access the consultation, click here.