ICO Threatening letter

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by jabes, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. jabes

    jabes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 1
    ICO have just posted a lovely letter to many UK businesses threatening that they must pay and subscribe or face a fine of £4000 if their business handles personal information.
    Now my question is - if your client is an individual and you email or call them (which with the exception of shops, almost every business does), then have you processed personal information and therefore liable to the ICO fee... or would it only constitute processing personal information if you are processing that information to be stored for marketing purposes?
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: jabes Member since: Feb 23, 2021
    #1
  2. ecommerce84

    ecommerce84 UKBF Regular Free Member

    942 326
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: ecommerce84 Member since: Feb 24, 2007
    #2
  3. jabes

    jabes UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 1
    Thanks @ecommerce84 . I’ve been through that and it’s quite confusing to say the least. Eg. Question 7:
    7. Are you processing information for any of the following purposes?
    It then lists jobs.... surely a purpose of processing information could be for marketing... not a list of jobs.
    If you then select any of the jobs it says you must pay.
    If you select ‘none of the above’ then it says you don’t need to pay as you are only processing information you require to run your business... so I’m not sure why the type of business is relevant.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: jabes Member since: Feb 23, 2021
    #3
  4. Andy Harris

    Andy Harris UKBF Regular Full Member

    147 38
    The part of the letter that jumps out the most is: 'There are not many situations where you would be exempt from paying a fee' ... which implies that most businesses would have to do it.

    I'm in the wrong line of business - should be a government department with an excuse to charge millions of businesses £40+ a year - gotta be the fastest revenue generator around right now.

    Just waiting for the "you are a business with humans that breathe air, therefore you must pay a £50/year fee for breathing that air" letter.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Andy Harris Member since: Oct 3, 2009
    #4
  5. bodgitt&scarperLTD

    bodgitt&scarperLTD UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    505 240
    So if someone emails you, you are then 'processing their information'?

    I'd have more respect for the ***** if they just stuck the £40 on corporation tax.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: bodgitt&scarperLTD Member since: Nov 26, 2018
    #5
  6. MikeHunter

    MikeHunter UKBF Contributor Full Member

    32 7
    I looked at this very closely when GDPR came into effect. I concluded that we weren't a data processor. However, when we got one of those letters I looked into it again and concluded that we would have to pay. Its a relatively straghtforward process to register and pay. Not saying I'm a fan of the scheme. Its another bit of Government bureaucracy, and I'd have thought that we already pay more than enough in taxes that the Government should directly fund the ICO rather than charging already stretched small businesses.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: MikeHunter Member since: May 8, 2006
    #6
  7. nick34785

    nick34785 UKBF Regular Free Member

    156 12
    I did the tool questionnaire and it said we don't have to pay as we only use the data to conduct our necessary business.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: nick34785 Member since: May 25, 2014
    #7
  8. wayzgoose

    wayzgoose UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    927 148
    Well I'm miffed now - I haven't had a letter !
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: wayzgoose Member since: Oct 9, 2007
    #8
  9. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! { Moderator }

    34,229 10,156
    I’ve had two. Do you want one of them?
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #9
  10. wayzgoose

    wayzgoose UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    927 148
    How much?
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: wayzgoose Member since: Oct 9, 2007
    #10
  11. Paul Kelly ICHYB

    Paul Kelly ICHYB UKBF Legend { Moderator }

    5,912 846
    About 95% of businesses in the UK are not registered and they probably should be!
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Paul Kelly ICHYB Member since: Jan 21, 2008
    #11
  12. rob0098

    rob0098 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    7 4
    Paul with respect Id say you either haven’t used the checker tool or you secretly work for the ICO!

    Step 8 of the assessment checker tool is stated below. If you only hold customer details for your own marketing and communications purposes you are under no requirement to register.

    I would suggest that 95% of businesses DO NOT need to pay, and the letter is a government led deliberately misleading cashcow.

    Dear ICO. How about you go after Facebook, Google and Amazon? These companies DO sell information to third parties..ah no wait its easier to threaten small businesses and duping them into a £60 digital parking fine!


    For those that can answer the below criteria with a YES, the link you need is:
    The ICO website address followed by /no-fee (I can’t post links yet as I’ve only just joined the forum)

    “advertising, marketing and public relations (in connection with your own business activity).
    You only hold the personal information of the people you need to for your own advertising, marketing and public relations – for example information about past, existing or present customers or suppliers

    The information is restricted to what is necessary for your advertising, marketing and public relations – for example, names, addresses and other identifiers

    You only advertise and market your own goods and services”
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: rob0098 Member since: Feb 23, 2021
    #12
  13. Paul Kelly ICHYB

    Paul Kelly ICHYB UKBF Legend { Moderator }

    5,912 846
    @rob0098
    You only get to 8 if you don't make a selection from 7 (there may be the odd exception but I'm not testing them all) - that's 33 generic business descriptions that equate to a lot of actual businesses!

    Does this include leads you generate!

    And I am sure you agreed to this when you signed up for the service!

    We could sit here and discuss the minutia of details, however, for £35, it is a lot easier and safer just to register, unless it is blatantly obvious one doesn't hold data.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Paul Kelly ICHYB Member since: Jan 21, 2008
    #13
  14. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,864 667
    How many of these businesses have been penalised for not registering then, I wonder?
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
    #14
  15. Paul Kelly ICHYB

    Paul Kelly ICHYB UKBF Legend { Moderator }

    5,912 846
    Probably none!
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Paul Kelly ICHYB Member since: Jan 21, 2008
    #15
  16. rob0098

    rob0098 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    7 4
    Theres a great Times article on it.

    Again, I can’t post the link, but if you google “Times ICO” its a good read.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: rob0098 Member since: Feb 23, 2021
    #16
  17. Paul Kelly ICHYB

    Paul Kelly ICHYB UKBF Legend { Moderator }

    5,912 846
    The first paragraph of that article looks great!!!
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Paul Kelly ICHYB Member since: Jan 21, 2008
    #17
  18. rob0098

    rob0098 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    7 4
    Theres a free article on decisionmarketing co uk website that gets to the real reason. ICO have failed to hit budget by 1.3M! Threatening letter all makes sense now!
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: rob0098 Member since: Feb 23, 2021
    #18
  19. Aniela

    Aniela UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    913 137
    Sounds like you just hate the government/ICO and have a personal vendetta against anything like this, based on things you conjure out of thin air... rather than understanding the truth and reality.

    Google, Facebook and Amazon do not sell customer information to third party companies.

    Further to that point, those companies are ICO registered anyway, so your argument is flawed on so many levels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Aniela Member since: Mar 28, 2020
    #19
  20. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    27,998 3,446

    If one of those big companies have sold your information on then by all means complain to their data officer or ICO.
    However odds are they are not selling your information. Quite likely you have been giving it away left right and center. Fines for abuse of information can be considerable and big organisations spend a considerable amount to avoid being fined. Cheaper that way.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2021 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #20