The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

This consultation has closed

We are seeking feedback on the draft guidance on the research provisions in the UK GDPR and the DPA 2018.

Data protection law contains a number of provisions for processing personal data for research purposes.

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 will help those engaged in research to carry out their processing while being compliant with the law. It 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. However, it is important for us to develop guidance on the current legislation to support organisations using personal data for research purposes now. It is crucial that we continue to support stakeholders in this complex area, making compliance with data protection easier. We also believe that the draft guidance addresses some of the issues identified in the data protection reform consultation as being problematic to organisations engaging in research. We will keep any guidance we produce in this area under review to ensure it reflects any future changes.

Please submit responses by 5pm on Friday 22 April 2022. Responses submitted after the deadline may not be considered.

Responding to the consultations

The easiest way to respond to the consultations is through the online survey.

Alternatively, you can email the completed Word surveys to [email protected], or print off the documents and post them to:

Research provisions guidance
Regulatory Assurance
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

If you have any general queries about the consultation, please email us at [email protected].