Did you know that if you have CCTV - which I assume you do - you need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and pay them £35 a year?
Some of you will be muttering, stupid woman, course I knew. Others will be going: Wha-a-t? First I’ve heard.
A retailer sent me an email that had been posted online by the ICO, which told the story of a woman prosecuted in February last year for ignoring repeated warning letters telling her she was in breach of the Data Protection Act for not registering the CCTV in her store. She thought the letters were a scam. She was fined £200 and had to pay £439.28 prosecution costs.
The retailer who sent it to me has had CCTV for more than 10 years. He wondered whether this report was a scam. It isn’t.
I asked their press office how they informed retailers of the need to register and how they policed it, but was redirected to their website. Under the ‘enforcement’ section I could see they have been very busy through the courts. They have sued councils, various police forces, Royal Mail, telecoms and energy companies, mostly for data infringement. Some very big names - Great Ormond Street Hospital (£11K), Guide Dogs for the Blind (£15K), Macmillan (£14K), NSPCC (£12K), British Legion (12K). Dozens of them in the past year or so. No retailers.
It’s similar to the music licences (but at least the PRS and PPL make a song and dance about it so more people are aware).
You may get the call, a letter, a warning; then again, you might not. But forewarned as they say…