Data Protection : Do I need to register with the ICO?

If your business deals with, and stores people’s data, then this one’s for you... 

Section 17 of the Data Protection Act 1998 states that a company cannot process personal data unless an entry is included in the register maintained by the Information Commissioner’s Office. So if you process personal information, you need to register. You process data if you obtain it, record it, store it, update it or share it. Personal information is anything about a living individual that can be used on its own, or with other data, to identify them. 

If you’re not sure, go to and answer a few simple questions to find out. You can then register online if you need to; it only takes about 15minutes and will cost you £35 a year.

Registering is really simple and inexpensive. Not registering however can prove to be very complicated and very expensive, as Triforce Recruitment Ltd found when they failed to do it. As ex-forces career specialists they gathered a host of personal information but were prosecuted at Westminster Magistrates Court for failure to notify. They were fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £485.85 costs plus a victim surcharge of £120.

So don’t de-prioritise it, forget to do it, or think it doesn’t matter. Registering via the ICO’s site is very straightforward and if you do need further assistance to understand your data protection obligations, we’re always here to help.

Our Tiny Marketing Co