The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) produces advice for businesses about how to stay compliant with data protection law.  In light of current data protection requirements and the changes that are due to come into force shortly, our Head of Digital Marketing Jessica Shailes provides guidance on whether organisations should stay as they are, or become ICO registered:

With GDPR looming over the horizon, becoming ICO registered is a great way to help ensure that your business is keeping its clients’, customers’ and employees’ data secure, particularly when trading online.

Who needs to register under ICO?

The current Data Protection Act (The Data Protection Act 1998) is set to be replaced in the new year, but current laws require every organisation that processes any sort of personal data to register with the ICO, unless for certain reasons they are exempt.

If you are a data controller or a data processor, these laws will apply to you.

Do you control or process data?

A data controller is a person or people within an organisation who decides how data that is collected by an organisation, is processed.

A data processor is someone who obtains, records or holds data, as well as anyone who retrieves or uses the data.

Examples of processing data

Some examples of processing data, provided by the ICO, include:

  • Organising data
  • Adapting data
  • Altering data
  • Retrieving data
  • Consulting data
  • Using data
  • Disclosure of information or data
  • Erasing data

Check whether you need to be ICO registered

The main question for us, as people who work with our clients’ data from time to time for example, for email or direct mail campaigns, is whether the organisation whose data is provided to us should be registered with the ICO.

Helpfully, the ICO has created a 5-minute test for organisations to see whether the organisation or an individual on behalf of the organisation, should be registered.

To complete the test to see whether you should be ICO registered, you can find it here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/register/self-assessment/

The cost of becoming ICO registered

If you do find that you or your organisation should be ICO registered, it’s quick and easy to put this into place.  It’s also relatively inexpensive, at just £35+VAT each year.

How to know whether an organisation is ICO registered

If you’re concerned about whether or not an organisation that you have provided your personal details to is ICO registered or not, they will usually disclose this by including their ICO registration number in the footer of their website.  You can see an example of this on our website, below:

ico example

More information about ICO registration, data protection and GDPR

We’re welcoming the changes that GDPR is set to bring with it and believe that this will create opportunities for our clients to become more secure as well as more effective in their marketing.  For more information about this, or for a second opinion about whether your organisation should be ICO registered, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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