The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued 11 charities with a monetary penalty under section 55A of the Data Protection Act 1998 for misusing donors’ personal data.

The ICO investigations found that a number of the charities secretly screened millions of donors so they could target them for additional funds. The charities traced and targeted new or lapsed donors by piecing together personal information obtained from other sources, and/or traded personal details with other charities creating a large pool of donor data for sale.

The ICO fined the following charities:

  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare (£18,000).
  • Cancer Support UK (formerly Cancer Recovery Foundation UK) (£16,000).
  • Cancer Research UK (£16,000).
  • The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (£15,000).
  • Macmillan Cancer Support (£14,000).
  • The Royal British Legion (£12,000).
  • The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (£12,000).
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (£11,000).
  • WWF-UK (£9,000).
  • Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home (£9,000).
  • Oxfam (£6,000).

The ICO has exercised its discretion in reducing the level of fines, taking into account the risk of adding to any distress caused to donors by the charities’ actions. The same approach was taken to fines issued to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and British Heart Foundation in December 2016. 

Please contact Chris Evans for questions related to the post. 

This news was posted on 10 April 2017.

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