The ICO have recently revealed their draft guidance of the new General Data Protection Regulation which will replace the Data Protection Act 1998. This new regulation will be applied from May 2018, with the aim to set a new higher standard for consent, as it draws upon the Data Protection Act standard of consent in a number of areas, as well containing significantly more detail on European guidance and good practice.

This draft version of this guidance, titled Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Protection has allowed a further insight into the stricter rules both advertising and marketing companies will have to face, once this regulation is in place. The ICO has recently seen progress in artificial intelligence and machine learning, proposing that these a key driver of the developments in the field of big data.  This has allowed businesses to process, manipulate and extract meaning from large and complex data sets in ways which previously may not have been possible. With technology such as this influencing the future, it is easy to see why the ICO’s new draft guidance presents a higher standard for consent. This new report includes guidelines such as, to embed a privacy impact assessment framework into big data activities to identify and mitigate privacy risks, as well as proposing that if consent is the basis for big data processing, this will need to meet the new standards and be “unambiguous” and a “clear affirmative action”, which would allow the individual to withdraw the consent.

With companies such as Flype already under fire as they face a fine of £70,000, as a result of them breaching the direct marketing provisions of PECR, the importance of these new requirements this draft guideline brings forward is more cruical than ever, as organizations will have to ensure they use techniques that is compliant with the law. As these organizations begin to prep for these new guidelines, it will be interesting to see how marketing and advertising companies alike, will react and adjust to ensure they stay within the confines of this stricter consent.