Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service



The West Yorkshire Consumer Helpline has been inundated with enquiries from local businesses who have received apparently official letters demanding payment of £111.63 to obtain compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

The letters have in fact been sent by unscrupulous, self-styled Data Protection Agencies attempting to profit from businesses uncertain of their obligations under this legislation.

Although recent amendments to The Data Protection Act 1998 require virtually every data controller, who processes personal data to notify the Office of the Information Commissioner, Trading Standards Officers warn that there is no connection between the Information Commissionerís Office and the following organisations:

Data Protection Act Registration Services, Data Protection Agency Services Limited, Data Protection Registration Agency, Data Collection Enforcement Agency, Data Registration Agency, DPA Registration Agency and Data Protection Act Registration Agency.

Businesses can notify the Office of the Information Commissioner directly. The charge for official registration is £35. Further advice can be obtained from the Information Commissionerís Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Fax 01625 524 510; Tel 01625 545 745.

Some companies are even attempting to profit further by collecting fines for breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998. Only the Information Commissioner has the authority to deal with infringements of the Act.

Martin Wood, Chief Officer of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service said, ďI urge all businesses to be vigilant when checking unexpected invoices and demands for payment. Donít be misled into making payments to bogus organisations seeking a quick profit.íí

For further information please contact:

Graham Hebblethwaite, Divisional Manager / General Media Contact 0113 2898 218.

Paul Cooper, Divisional Manager 0113 2898 240

Andrew Bibby, Helpline Manager 0113 2898 237