Q. Hi, I am getting worried about data protection and this new thing, GDPR. I have read that I need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office – is that really necessary? I only have one property which I manage myself.
A. It is not the number of properties you have which is important but whether you ‘process data’ electronically. If you keep any records on computer, and particularly if you use any online services you will almost certainly need to register.
Note that ‘processing information electronically’ includes ‘using computers or any system that can process the information automatically, including CCTV systems, digital cameras, smartphones, credit card machines, call logging and recording systems, clocking machines and audio-visual capture and storage systems’ (this is quoted from the ICO self-assessment guide.
However, as a small business you will only have to pay the minimum annual fee which is currently £35. If you are not sure whether you need to register or not, use the self-assessment guide on the ICO website (www.ico.org.uk). You can also telephone for advice, although you may have to wait on the phone for a while as they are very busy.
Q. I understand that I need to register with the ICO but I am really unhappy about having my personal address on a database which can be accessed by the public. Is this really necessary?