Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Seeing if you need to register with the ICO

If you are thinking about registering, or indeed wanting to know if you need to register, then your first port of call is the ICO website itself. They give a set of very simple questions to see if you need to register.

The questions they ask

At most you only need to answer 11 questions, and for many of you it will be much less than that. On the questions where it might not be completely obvious what they mean they have extra guidance (what is meant by a non profit organisation, for example). Each question has a simple yes or no answer, and each either leads to another question - or instead tell you that you must register or that you don't need to register (and then you don't need to answer any remaining questions). It only takes a few minutes of your time to go through the questions.

The questions they ask you are this :
  • Are you a not for profit organisation that qualifies for an exemption?
  • Does your business or organisation only process information for judicial functions?
  • Are you processing personal information?
  • Do you process the information electronically?
  • Is your organisation responsible for deciding how the information is processed?
  • Do you only process personal information for personal, family, household or recreational reasons?
  • Are you only processing personal data to maintain a public register?
  • Do you only process personal data for staff administration, advertising, marketing or public relations, or accounts or records?
  • Do you only process individuals’ information for staff administration?
  • Do you process individuals’ information for advertising, marketing or public relations?
  • Do you process individuals’ information for accounts or financial records?
Don't bother trying to answer all of these right now, you might only need to answer the first few for example once you are on the website. I'm just listing them all here so that you can see that they aren't too bad at all.

How to answer the questions

To answer the above questions on the ICO website, either go to the main page at www.ico.org.uk and look for a box at the top right that says 'Register my organisation', and follow the link that says 'Not sure if you need to register?' or just follow this direct link.

Don't need to register?

Now, having gone through these questions you might have found that you don't actually need to register - but the ICO allow you to register voluntarily too. My recommendation to you would be this - if you hold any personal information of living individuals at all, and even if the ICO say you don't need to register - I would still register. It will cost you very little (for most organisations we are talking in the region of £35 per year only (and you can do it via a direct debit too).  Isn't it worth it for a little peace of mind alone?

The registration process

I'll save talking about the registration process itself until next time.

Still stuck?

If there is anything you are still stuck on then feel free to contact me at any time either by email or phone - contact details are below.

About digitalTrust

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digitalTrust has expertise in a whole host of inter-connected areas, such as :
  • Data protection
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We look at all these aspects from a very practical, hands-on, approach. We can help with :
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Disclaimer. This information in this tip was accurate at the time of writing, and although the ICO website is unlikely to alter any time soon the information provided here should not be relied upon for any purpose other than general information and digitalTrust cannot be held liable for any loss or damage which may arise from using any information contained therein.

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