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ICO Data Protection Fee Demand – What to do?

Many companies now a days are receiving a letter from ICO (Information commissioner office), reminding them of their duty to pay ICO data protection fee if they process personal information of the customer, client or a tenant. If the same is not paid on time, it can lead to fines up to £4,350 (150% of the top tier fee).

ICO Fees Key Points

  • ICO says that as per data protection (charges and information) regulations 2018, individuals and organisations processing personal data of customers, clients or tenants needs to pay data protection fees to ICO.
  • 600,000 organisations are already registered with ICO to pay it. Real estate companies have also complied with the requirements.
  • As per ICO, they already issued 340 monetary penalties between the periods of 1st July – 30th September 2019 to organizations that have not paid their data protection fees.
  • If you want to work out whether your organisation is eligible to pay ICO fee or not - you can use ICO’s self-assessment tool.
  • If you are holding any personal information on any electronic device for business purposes or CCTV camera for crime prevention, you need to pay an annual fee payment. As per ICO, you can easily pay your data protection fee

  • ICO maintains a database of the companies who pay data protection fees. This will help companies in making clear to their customers, clients as well as suppliers that they are compliant with the legal obligations when personal information is processed.
  • ICO have confirmed, the reminders which they are sending to the companies are just because they want to help the companies so that they can easily comply with the laws in relation to data protection. It builds trust and confidence among the customers, clients and suppliers in relation to processing of their personal information.

What you should do?

A lot of companies are confused whether this applies to them and what action should be taken. Some of the companies have ignored the letter thinking it’s a scam.

ICO recently published a blog confirming the letters are not a scam and serves as a reminder to the companies in the UK on their legal duty to pay ICO data protection fee.

Whether you have received a letter or not, as a business it is your duty to comply with the data protection law. In most cases an annual fee will be due if you are holding personal information in any electronic format including CCTV for crime prevention purposes. You can quickly find out if your organisation needs to pay the fee by using the self-assessment checker tool on ICO’s website: Self-assessment Tool.

There are many businesses especially property companies that collect information about name, addresses and telephone numbers of customers, clients or tenants with the help of agents. The ICO guidelines state that if you are not holding these personal details, then the rules are not applicable to them directly and a fee doesn’t need to be paid.

How much ICO data protection fee is levied?

The ICO data protection Fee Company needs to pay depends upon the size & turnover of the company. As far as fee is concerned, it ranges from £40 - £2,900. For most of the organisations, ICO data protection fees is between £40 - £60, but in case you will use the direct debit facility to pay data protection fee online, your cost will reduce by £5. It is recommended you use Self-assessment checker in order to calculate your data protection fee.

Conclusion

Different companies have different opinions on this matter but the companies which are getting these demand letters from ICO should take immediate action and find out if they are required to pay the fee.

For any query related to demand letter, kindly contact DNS at 03330600310.

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