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ICO releases ‘Regulatory Sandbox’ report on cross-operator data-sharing

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its first report outlining the public body’s key findings on the feasibility of data-sharing among gaming companies.

ICOReportData

A ‘Single-Customer View’ (SCV) was the challenge levied by the Commission in February 2020 as it looks to foster a more collaborative, cross-operator perspective of customers’ behaviour to promote safer gambling.

This report now follows on from the watchdog’s admittance to the ICO’s data-sharing service, the ‘Regulatory Sandbox’, in November 2020, and its positive conclusions mean the Commission’s plans can continue.

“We welcomed the early commitment we received from gambling companies and their trade body to develop and trial a solution. However, we also recognised the questions that existed on how this could be achieved in a way that complied with data protection law,” said Tim Miller, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission.

“That is why we partnered with the Information Commissioner at an early stage and are pleased that they have been able to provide assurances that requirements on data protection need not be a barrier to making progress.”

The document is a deep dive into the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with two main targets; establish a legal basis for the sharing of behavioural data and to consider the processing of special category personal data, meaning those individuals flagged as ‘at-risk’.

In line with these goals, the report, compiled by the ICO, found that two conditions must be met before operators could freely share customer information among themselves.

‘Public task’ requires there to be a basis in law, for the gambling operators to share the data for the SCV, and for that sharing to be carried out in the public interest.

‘Legitimate Interests’ encompasses the interests of a number of parties including those individuals at risk of problem gambling, the interests of gambling operators in meeting their legal requirements and those of society at large. 

The publication of this report was an important step in the right direction for the Gambling Commission’s SCV plans, with the watchdog inviting industry players to trial solutions based on its findings.

Miller concluded: “We now look forward to the industry rapidly starting to pilot and then evaluate the approach they have developed to meet the challenge we have set of achieving a Single Customer View.”

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