Should you pay the ICO’s annual data protection charge?

All golf clubs that process personal data are required to pay an annual data protection charge to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) unless a relevant exemption applies. Most not for profit clubs will be exempt but it is recommended that you complete the ICO’s self-assessment tool to ensure you remain exempt. For instance, if you install CCTV for crime prevention purposes the exemption will be lost. If you are liable to pay a charge then the charge-assessment tool will indicate the level you are required to pay. Most golf clubs will pay either £40 or £60 with large organisations paying £2,900. It is a legal requirement to pay and failure to do so, or to pay incorrectly, could result in a fine of up to £4,350. It does make good business sense, though as it could have an impact on your club’s reputation. Once you have paid, then if you agree, the club’s details are published on the Information Commissioner’s register of fee payers. Even if you are currently exempt then it is good practice to complete the self-assessment tool annually and to record you have done so. This will ensure that any changes to the exemption will not be missed.
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