ICO Fines Companies for not paying Data Protection Fee
Advice for our clients
The ICO has issued the first fines for not paying the data protection fee to organisations across a range of sectors including business services, construction, finance, health and childcare.
All organisations, companies and sole traders that process personal data must pay an annual fee to the ICO unless they are exempt. Fines for not paying can be up to a maximum of £4,350.
This follows regulations which came into force alongside the new Data Protection Act on 25 May 2018.
These first organisations have been fined for not renewing their fees following their expiry and more fines are set to follow. More than 900 notices of intent to fine have been issued by the ICO since September and more than 100 penalty notices are being issued in this first round.
If you receive a query from your client regarding this, please urge them to visit the ICO website for further information on how to pay the fee to avoid a fine. The page also includes a self-assessment toolkit to enable the client to establish if they need to pay and how much.
For very small organisations, the fee won’t be any higher than the £35 they paid before May 2018 (if they take advantage of a £5 reduction for paying by direct debit).
Larger organisations will be required to pay £2,900. The fee is higher because these organisations are likely to hold and process the largest volumes of data and therefore represent a greater level of risk.
Failure to pay the data protection fee is now a civil offence under the GDPR, previously this was a criminal offence under the Data Protection Act 1998.