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Data Protection Fee

We received the following request from the Information Commissioner's Office (the ico) addressed to our company asking:

Data protection: does UKFILM.CO LTD need to register?

You may not be aware of the requirement to pay an annual data protection fee.

Registration self-assessment
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.

By going through the following questions you will be able to decide if you – as an individual or on behalf of your business or organisation – need to pay a fee to the ICO.

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. For more information, read our guidance on the data protection fee.

My question: has anyone else received the same request and does anyone have a learned opinion as to whether the fee needs to be paid, please? The fee for us as a small independent production company would thankfully be only quite small but could anyone in the know please advise me and other small company directors reading this list if registration is necessary and would it be best to pay the fee, please?

  • We've not yet had such a request. Niether have I heard about the fee.It's not entirely unlike a scam in character. It needs a thorough Googling and a definition of data. Will my old address book count. Has a ring of dodgy legislation if it's true.

    9 months ago
  • I deal with the ICO in my day job. The TLDR is that if you are a business or organisation and hold personal information on anyone outside your organisation, you almost certainly need to be registered. Visit the ICO site, work through it.

    Any questions, just ask them.

    John - the fact that you haven't heard of the fee doesn't mean it hasn't existed for many years :-) As to definitions of data for this purpose, these have been codified for years, and the ICO work through pages are pretty good. But, feel free to mount a court case if you think they err :-)

    9 months ago
  • Thanks Marlom. No doubt that deep Googling will throw up the website you reference and more.

    It's usually helpful in these sort of matters, to look beyond the advice and assertions of statutory entities to cases and wider opinion because legislation and presumption is so often at odds with actual law.

    The devil is in the detail.

    9 months ago
    • It can be. I refer you to the 1986 FinServ Act, part of which rules created under the Act was predicated on the assumption that a certain maths problem was impossible. It wasn't. It was just too hard for lawyers :-) In early 90's I built a business out of doing the maths and publishing the info in breach of the rules*. Then they finally got around to writing rules that actually fitted the maths.

      But re the (to save you deep googling) registration rules are not in that class and the terms are well defined. It's £40 to register, if you have to.

      FAILING to register is a criminal offence, though normally resolved by simply saying sorry and registering.

      *To be fair, once the regulators realised that my maths was correct, and info would reduce costs to consumers, they weren't silly enough to even think about chasing the rule breach.

      9 months ago
  • Evening,
    Thank you both very much for your input John & Marlom, really greatly appreciated, I am indebted. I hope you both are well and prospering in these very strange times. Re-watched and enjoyed once again Luis Buñuel surrealist 70's comedy classic The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie last night and realised afterwards that the film's normality was more normal than my present! A double Vigo bill of Zero for Conduct & L'Atalante for tonight, lockdown heaven!
    Many thanks

    9 months ago
  • I very much like your story Marlom. Along with the likes of Gina Miller and the lord justices of the Supreme Court it's clear that much Statute Legislation is lacking the integrity of Lawfulness. Unlike ordinary Statutes actual Law is entrenched beyond the tinkering of blow through Parliaments. The only reason for why a great many statutes remain unchallenged is the obscene cost and shortage of learned intellectual resources. It's a special opportunity for that tiny group of film maker to lift the for everyone beyond the trite. Crowd funded challenges and pro bono lawyers however, as with Gina Miller's victories over two Prime Ministers, are going to be an increasing feature of our sociopolitical arrangements.

    I'm currently enjoying the deconstruction of the Legal Services Act 2007, it's poorly drafted provisions have been largely undermined by Common and Constitutional Law, that despite the assertions of Diceyest lawyers, do actually exist.

    I like this quote from Sir Steven Sedley, the eminent Appeal Court justice;

    "The Crown is as Sovereign in the Courts as it is in Parliament"

    From that short sentence one can discern much about our gloriously written constitution.

    Uncritical acceptance of laws made by blow through politicians is a very slippery slope to what can be, ironically, lawlessness and treason.

    9 months ago