Detail of outcome
The Government published a consultation on the schedule of exemptions for paying the annual data protection charge to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The consultation ran from 20 June 2018 until 1 August 2018 and sought views on whether the current exemptions remained appropriate and fit for purpose.
Views were also sought on whether new exemptions should be introduced, including a proposed new exemption for elected representatives as defined within paragraph 23(3) of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 2018, prospective candidates and members of the House of Lords.
A total of 430 substantive responses were received. There was broad support for the current exemptions to remain as they currently stand, given the impact upon micro organisations, the voluntary sector, and small and medium sized businesses should these exemptions be removed. The consultation did not highlight any specific or significant public concern or drive to make any changes to the current exemptions.
29% of respondents to the consultation supported a new exemption for prospective candidates, elected representatives, and members of the House of Lords, proposed to address concerns that the charge constitutes a “barrier to democracy”. The Government’s view is that democratic activity deriving from public office should not be liable to a charge.
There were a small number of other potential exemptions to the data protection charge suggested, however Government does not believe there was a strong case made for any particular new exemption to be introduced at this time. The consultation response includes a summary of all new exemptions suggested with the Government’s rationale for not taking these forward.
Government will proceed with implementing a new exemption for the processing of personal data used solely for the purposes of standing for or fulfilling the office of elected representatives, as defined in paragraph 23(3) of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 2018, and members of the House of Lords.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights. The Information Commissioner’s data protection activities are funded by charges paid by data controllers (individuals and organisations that process personal data).
There are a number of exemptions for data controllers from paying the charges. This consultation is seeking to obtain views as to whether the current exemptions from paying charges are still appropriate and whether there should be any new exemptions.
This consultation will help inform the Government’s decision as to whether any exemptions should be removed and whether any new exemptions should be introduced. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the Government is required to ensure an adequate level of funding to the ICO. Therefore the impact of any changes to charge exemptions on the ICO’s resources will be given due consideration.