Poor advice on social media could get you a £400 fine from the iCO

Robyn got in touch after a BWN networking event, and we felt her concern was so important we would share it with you all. Don’t forget all Insiders get a discount to work with Robyn. In our experience for a few hundred pounds and a couple of hours you can be fully legal and have the wealth of knowledge and support of Robyn at Adavista 24/7 as a member anytime you need it. Thank you Robyn!

I’ve written this for our mastermind group and networking organisations, because this is important. Insiders I love being a member of this group and what Mandie shared greatly concerned me. During my “60 seconds” this month, Mandie and I spoke about the ICO and the fee  – Mandie told us about a social media group for VAs she had visited where someone had suggested that the participants did not need to “register” with the ICO because they deal with businesses..

I am aware that we have some new members and I thought a timely explanation around this might be useful.

We have UK data protection legislation, including UK GDPR in UK which did not go away with Brexit. Part of this legislation is the “Data Protection Fees Regulation 2018” which permits the UK supervisory authority (The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)) to set a series of fees for organisations to demonstrate compliance with the laws.  This is referred to as “paying the fee” or the “registration”.  Very few organisations are exempt from this fee and the fines start at £400 for any organisation of 10 or less employees – as a sole trader, you count as an employee.

It’s about processing “personal data” – any information in a business setting that relates directly or indirectly to a natural person. No organisation can function without processing some personal data on suppliers, clients, customers, colleagues.  If you work with other businesses you will have (“process”) contact details of someone in that business/organisation.  Indeed, at BWN this month there was the personal data of 16 of us on the screen being processed in a business setting. (Room networking event via Facebook.)

If you utilise emails, have a website (with or without a contact form). Zoom/Teams/Messenger rooms, then you are processing data electronically under the terms of the legislation. If you process data electronically, then you are not exempt from the fee.

For organisations of 10 or less people, a non-private school, charity or not-for-profit, then you qualify for the lowest fee – “tier 1” ; £40 per year or £35 if you pay by Direct Debit.   AS I said the fine starts at £400!

If you would like to know more about this and/or the appropriate documentation for compliance, then lets have a chat.”

Thanks for the confirmation Robyn. We created this page on our site so that you can check the things you need in your business too. Wants, needs, have to’s of business – click here to read more.

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