Data protection fee to cost bigger orgs £500 a year
Don't pretend you can't afford it
Organisations with a turnover of £25.9 million or more and 250 or more staff will be required to pay the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) an annual notification fee of £500 with effect from 1st October. The current fee is just £35.
Notification is a requirement for 'data controllers' under the Data Protection Act. Every organisation that processes personal information must notify the ICO, unless they are exempt. Failure to notify is a criminal offence.
The higher rate will also apply to public authorities with 250 or more staff. Charities, small occupational pension schemes, organisations with a turnover below £25.9m and those with a higher turnover but fewer than 250 staff will continue to pay £35.
It is the first time the notification fee has changed since 2000. According to an explanatory memorandum from the Ministry of Justice, the higher fee payable by so-called 'tier two' organisations "reflects the amount of resources invested by the IC in regulating large data controllers."
The cost of fulfilling the ICO's data protection regulatory and advisory responsibilities is £16 million per year, according to the Ministry of Justice memo. The ICO’s own research has indicated that less than 4 per cent of data controllers will meet the criteria for tier two.
"A tiered structure will increase ICO resources by approximately £4.7m per year," the memo suggests.
The notification process requires an organisation to explain its uses of personal information by completing a form. The details are stored in a register of data controllers that is available to the public for inspection. In practice, almost every organisation in the UK will process some personal data, though companies that only process personal data for payroll purposes are exempt.
The new levels were set by the Data Protection (Notification and Notification Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 which were laid before Parliament on Monday. The new fee structure will apply to notifications and renewals from 1st October.
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This is what I love about govt. fees
They can arbitrarily change them whenever they please. They don't have to account to anyone, nor defend their actions - just UP the charges (and UP yours if you don't like it). There's no concept of competition: you can't go to a privately run ICO - or any other QUANGO for that matter, nor of value for money - you never find out what your individual contribution buys you. You don't have the option of opting out as these things are mandatory / legally enforced and companies have no input into the democratic process to say whether or not they want the "service" the gummint says they must take..
The same thing happens to real people too. Whether it's being mugged for a BBC license fee, screwed over for council tax (that goes up every year, by more than inflation) or any of the other fees, licenses, charges or taxes that we get railroaded into paying - no matter who you vote for, or which party is in power.
probably read it wrong
but surely that's no different to the old highway robbery? you want to use this public road? Pay me some dough! You want to have a company with data? Pay me money to approve!
Not only are employment agencies counted as large companies when it comes to having to file everything online, but not getting the kick back for filling online, we now have to pay 14x the amount for Data protection notification even if we only turn over a few hudred thousand...
Great. but now...
... how about actually giving the ICO some teeth instead of them only being able to wag a finger and say "naughty people, you should make customers' data secure"?