The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has begun formal enforcement action against 34 organisations that have failed to pay the new data protection fee.
The data protection regulator has sent notices of its intent to fine the organisations unless they pay. Those who don’t could face a maximum fine of £4,350. Organisations have 21 days to respond to the notices. If they pay, action will stop.
It is essential that all organisations that process personal data pay a fee to the ICO, unless you are exempt.
The data protection fee is set by Government which has a statutory duty to ensure the ICO is adequately funded, and is part of the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018. It came into force on 25 May to coincide with the new Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation. And it replaces the need to notify or register with the ICO.
Paul Arnold, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the ICO, said:
”We expect the notices we have issued to serve as a final demand to organisations and that they will pay before we proceed to a fine. But we will not hesitate to use our powers if necessary.
“All organisations that are required to pay the data protection fee must prioritise payment or risk getting a formal letter from us outlining enforcement action.”
Under the funding model, set by Government, organisations are divided into three tiers based on their size, turnover and whether an organisation is a public authority or charity.
Organisations that have a current registration (or notification) under the 1998 Data Protection Act – prior to 25 May 2018 – do not have to pay the new fee until that registration has expired.
If you are unsure of whether you are exempt from paying the fee to the ICO or your registration has expired and you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Regulation Unit at Short Richardson & Forth. Furthermore, if you need help drafting the appropriate policies in respect of handling personal data in order to ensure compliance and avoid falling foul of the Regulator – our experienced team are happy to assist.