Do I need to pay the Data Protection Fee?  Some sole traders and small companies do not even know this fee exists, particularly new start-ups. Also, some companies who do know about it don’t realise they are breaking the law by not paying it.  If you are processing personal data take this self-assessment issued by the ICO to determine if you have to pay.

ICO Logo Under the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018, individuals and organisations that process personal data need to pay a data protection fee to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), unless they are exempt. This means that paying the fee is now a legal requirement. However, this doesn’t mean everyone now has to pay the new fee. Although GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018, some organisations will be exempt, and Data Controllers who have a current registration (or notification) under the 1998 Data Protection Act will not have to pay the new fee until that registration has expired.

There are three different tiers of fee and controllers are expected to pay between £40 and £2,900. It’s £40 to £60 for most organisations, including charities and small and medium-sized businesses.

The fees are set by Parliament to reflect what it believes is appropriate based on the risks posed by the processing of personal data by controllers.

The tier you fall into depends on:

  • how many members of staff you have;
  • your annual turnover;
  • whether you are a public authority;
  • whether you are a charity; or
  • whether you are a small occupational pension scheme.

From 25 May 2018, people who use CCTV for domestic purposes, ie to monitor their property, even if it films beyond the boundaries of their property will be exempt from paying a fee under data protection law.

On 1 April 2019, the rules around paying the data protection fee changed. Members of the House of Lords, elected representatives and prospective representatives (including police and crime commissioners) are exempt from paying a fee, unless they process personal data for purposes other than the exercise of their functions as a Member of the House of Lords, an elected representative or as a prospective representative.

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