UK ICO seeks views on Pay or Consent model

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has today launched a call for views on its regulatory approach to the so called ‘Pay or Consent’ model that is currently also being discussed by its EU colleagues.

“In principle, data protection law does not prohibit business models that involve ‘consent or pay’. However, any organisation considering such a model must be careful to ensure that consent to processing of personal information for personalised advertising has been freely given and is fully informed, as well as capable of being withdrawn without detriment,” the ICO says.

The ICO will develop its thinking in light of the forthcoming Opinion of the European Data Protection Board, and responses to this consultation.
For now, it stresses that organisations need to gather evidence that people are fully aware of what happens when they interact with an online service. The current call for views should not be interpreted as confirmation that Pay or Consent approach is legally compliant, the ICO says.

The ICO invites publishers, advertisers, intermediaries, civil society, academia and other interested stakeholders to respond and help inform its position. The ICO is also seeking views of the Association of Online Publishers and the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, saying that there are also alternative online advertising models that could be used to give people a fair choice.

The consultation closes on 17 April 2024.

PL&B has organised a webinar on this topic, in association with Meta, on 13 March