Top brands savaged for not paying data protection fee

ico n1Reckitt Benckiser, Coty UK, Prezzo, Caterpillar, Condé Nast and Ubisoft are among the major brands which have been named and shamed for failing to pay the new data protection fees to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Since May, all companies which process personal data have been required to pay higher fees to fund the ICO’s increased workload and burgeoning workforce.
The regulator has grown over the last two years to meet its wider data protection remit and responsibilities following GDPR. It now employs over 670 staff.
Under the new structure, organisations with fewer than 10 staff pay £35 as long as they pay by direct debit, SMEs are charged £60, and those with more than 250 staff or a £36m-plus turnover pay £2,900 a year.
In November, the regulator said it had sent over 900 “notices of intent” to fine companies who had failed to cough up, but refused to name them. Now over 90 companies which have been issued with fines have been named on the ICO website, however, it has refrained from fingering sole traders “for privacy reasons”.
The fines are tiered, up to £400, £600 and £4,000, depending on the size and turnover of the organisation. Aggravating factors may lead to an increase in the fine up to a maximum of £4,350. All fines recovered do not go to the ICO, they go to the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund.
Back in November, ICO deputy chief executive Paul Arnold said: “Following numerous attempts to collect the fees via our robust collection process, we are now left with no option but to issue fines to these organisations. They must now pay these fines within 28 days or risk further legal action.
“You are breaking the law if you process personal data or are responsible for processing it and do not pay the data protection fee to the ICO. We produce lots of guidance for organisations on our website to help them decide whether they need to pay and how they can do this.”

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