The Importance of Registering with the ICO

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Under the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulation 2018, every organisation or sole trader processing personal information must pay the data protection fee to the ICO. This applies to everyone except those who qualify for one of the exemptions. Failure to register is a criminal offence so should be a priority for businesses.

Note that domestic use of CCTV is not included in processing which requires a fee to be paid. From 25 May 2018, people who use CCTV for domestic purposes, i.e. to monitor their property, even if it films beyond the boundaries of their property will be exempt from paying a fee under data protection law.

The fee payable depends on the size and turnover of the business in question. There are three tiers of fee ranging from £40 and £2,900, but for most organisations it will be £40 or £60. Charities and small occupational pension schemes are only required to pay £40 regardless of their size and turnover.

Registering is easy via the ICO website. For those who are unsure of whether they are required to pay a fee, or are unsure of how much they are due to pay, they can use the useful ICO self-assessment tool which can be found here.

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This fee funds the work of the ICO and the importance of paying it was demonstrated recently when, following the failure to respond to letters and an Information Notice from the ICO, Noble Design and Build of Telford, which operates CCTV systems in buildings across Sheffield, broke data protection laws by failing to comply with the Information Notice. The company also failed to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), despite it being a criminal offence to do so. As a result, earlier this week the company was convicted and fined £2000 for failing to comply with an Information Notice, under section 47 of the Data Protection Act 1998. They were also fined £2500 for processing personal data electronically without having notified when required to do so, under Section 17 of the Data Protection Act 1998, and ordered to pay costs of £364.08 and a victim surcharge of £170.00.

Note that because of when the offence took place, the company. The new Data Protection Act 2018 came into force on 25 May, and organisations that process personal data have a duty to pay a data protection fee unless they are exempt.

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