Issued By
Lancashire County Council

Small Businesses Warned About Paying Over The Odds For Data Protection Registration

 

Following over 40 complaints, Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Service are warning businesses to be on their guard against companies inviting them to pay a fee for registration under the Data Protection Act 1998.  Typically, such companies request a fee of £95 plus, for registering the business with the Information Commissioner for the Data Protection Register.

However, while most businesses processing personal data, including staff records, are required by law to notify the Information Commissioner, businesses can notify the Information Commissioner directly and the registration fee is only £35.  Many small businesses may not be required to register and further information can be obtained directly from the Information Commissioners website and telephone helpline.

The Office of Fair Trading has already taken injunctive action against one such company and is collating information on a number of others, some of which often use ‘official’ looking documents and imply a link with the Data Protection Register.

Details of whether or not you are required to notify under the Data Protection Act 1998 are available on the Information Commissioner’s website at www.dpr.gov.uk or by telephone on their Notification Helpline on 01625 545740.

County Councillor Tim Ormrod, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Rural Affairs, said

“Small businesses are often extremely vulnerable to this sort of official looking mailshot and may not have ready access to the legal advice to question this offer.  I would advise any businesses in Lancashire receiving any invitation to register for more than the £35 fee to forward it to the Trading Standards Service at 58-60 Guildhall Street, Preston, PR1 3NU.  Complaints can then be passed to the Office of Fair Trading.”