Institute of Fundraising ‘seeking legal advice’ over data sharing

 In news

The Institute of Fundraising has promised changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice to crack down on data swapping among charities, but is currently “seeking legal advice” over how to bring it in.
A spokesman for the IoF told Civil Society News that “an agreement has been made in regards to data swapping” but is “seeking legal advice about when to bring these changes in” to the Code.

The spokesman also said that the IoF will only make any changes to the Code in that regard in concert with the Information Commissioner’s Office, as the ICO is also working on making changes to its data sharing code of practice.
“We want it to be in sync with the ICO,” said the spokesman. “Otherwise we’d only have to update the Code again, once the ICO made its changes”.
When asked when the changes would be made, he said: “We want to make these changes as soon as possible but they must be in line with the ICO, as we don’t want to have to update it all again”.

In its report into the death of Olive Cooke, the FRSB was highly critical of the amount of times that Cooke’s data was swapped and shared between charities in the months and years leading up to her death.
The FRSB found that 24 charities from a sample of 99 had shared Olive Cooke’s data. 21 of those charities said they had permission to do so, but the FRSB found that “this permission was in virtually all cases only passively obtained since Mrs Cooke had not actively opted out”.
The FRSB recommended in its interim report into fundraising practice published in June 2015 that the IoF should “make it a requirement of the Code that organisations in data sharing must make it clear to donors that their personal contact information may be shared”.

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