Our guidance for the media industry explains how data protection applies to journalism, advises on good practice, and clarifies the role of the ICO.

Data protection and journalism

The ICO has published a detailed guide on how the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) applies to journalism.  The guide includes both practical data protection advice for those working in journalism, and also technical data protection advice for those with particular data protection responsibilities.

To accompany our detailed guide we have also produced a separate quick guide which is intended to give journalists a brief introduction to the DPA and how it applies in the context of journalism.

Data protection – looking after the information you hold

If you hold and process information about your clients, employees or suppliers, you are legally obliged to protect that information. Under the Data Protection Act, you must:

  • only collect information that you need for a specific purpose;
  • keep it secure;
  • ensure it is relevant and up to date;
  • only hold as much as you need, and only for as long as you need it; and
  • allow the subject of the information to see it on request.