ICO issues fines to organisations who failed to pay the new data protection fee

This week the ICO fined a number of organisations for failure to pay the new data protection fee. The new fee structure came into place on 25 May 2018 when the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 came into force, changing the way the ICO funds its data protection work.

The new Regulations require all organisations, companies and sole traders that process personal data to register, unless they are exempt.

It’s not clear who have been served these fines, but the ICO’s “action taken” part of it’s website indicates that fines have been issued in the “business”, “manufacturing” and “finance” sectors, with the ICO’s recent posting indicating that fines can be up to between £400 and £4000 depending on the size of the organisation.

Paul Arnold, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the ICO, said:

“Following numerous attempts to collect the fees via our robust collection process, we are now left with no option but to issue fines to these organisations. They must now pay these fines within 28 days or risk further legal action.

“You are breaking the law if you process personal data or are responsible for processing it and do not pay the data protection fee to the ICO. We produce lots of guidance for organisations on our website to help them decide whether they need to pay and how they can do this.”

Those that have been fined have been caught by not renewing their registration and the ICO say they have sent out more than 900 notices of intent to fine since September, so if you’ve not paid your fee, probably best you do. You can find out about paying the fee, how much it costs and whether you are exempt via the ICO’s website, however note that if you are currently within an existing (under the old scheme) registration that has yet to expire you need not worry until the registration expires.