DCMS consults on data protection fee exemptions

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published a consultation on exemptions under the Data Protection Act 2018 from paying a registration fee to the ICO.

Under the old Data Protection Act 1998 there were obligations to notify the ICO if you process data, unless an exemption applied. Under the GDPR, which the new (2018) Act implements there are no such conditions for registration, but the new Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations, which came into force on the 25th May 2018 implements a new funding structure for the ICO.

Under these new Regulations, there are a number of exemptions that apply in certain circumstances, where data is processed for the purposes of:

  • Staff administration (including payroll)
  • Advertising, marketing and public relations (in connection with own business activity)
  • Accounts and records (except in relation to processing of personal data by or obtained from a credit reference agency)
  • Judicial functions
  • Personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes)
  • Maintaining a public register (e.g. the Electoral Roll)

Exemptions also apply for some not for profit organisations and organisations that don’t process data via “automated” means and there are some other arrangements (where a fee is required) for other types of organisations like charities and occupational pension schemes.

The consultation appears to be consulting on the appropriateness of the existing exemptions as well as adding a new exemption for those working in public offices (MPs, Lords, etc.). It also asks if there are any other groups that should be exempt from the fee.

Of course, the ICO is relying on the fees to fund it’s activities and note themselves that “The impact of any changes on the ICO’s resources will be given due consideration.” Which is an indication that any suggestions of other groups that should be exempt, need to be reasonable.

The consultation is open until 1st August 2018