We have issued a range of guidance for elected representatives and political parties on what you need to know about the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts. 

If you are an elected or prospective councillor you will find relevant guidance on our local government page. 

Protecting personal information

A Member of Parliament is considered a data controller and is therefore responsible for ensuring all personal data handled by their office is done in a way that complies with the Data Protection Act. The House of Commons has produced advice for MPs and their staff on how they can make sure they look after the personal information of their constituents, staff, and others fairly and lawfully.

To assist Members of Parliament with their constituency duties The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) (Elected Representatives) Order 2002 provides the necessary authorisation  to process sensitive personal data. It also enables organisations contacted by an MP to disclose sensitive personal information to them where this is necessary to help with their functions, without having to obtain the explicit consent of the individual concerned. The House of Commons Library has produced a Briefing Paper on this issue.

Political campaigning

The ICO recently delivered a presentation in London that members of all major UK parties were invited to attend. The event was to discuss specific guidance the we have produced on political campaigning. The slides from the event and the guidance are available below. 

For further information on telephone and email marketing, see our guidance on direct marketing. 

Good practice for elected representatives

Following three advisory visits to the constituency offices of National Assembly Members in Wales, we've published a report detailing some of the good practice and areas for improvement that we found in the sector.


In the news

Read our latest news stories and blog posts reporting on recent activity in the sector

Further reading