Data Protection Scam
22 October 2001


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Latest scam targeting businesses in the Highlands

Businesses in the Highlands are being advised to be on their guard against bogus Enforcement Agency and Registration Services that are sending out final notices for notification under the Data Protection Act 1988. Both the "Data Collection Enforcement Agency" and "Data Protection Act Registration Service" are believed to be targeting Highland businesses and institutions.  Any approach made by these organisations should be ignored and any correspondence received should be referred to The Highland Council's Trading Standards Unit.

There is a legal requirement under the Data Protection Act 1988 for organisations, who hold personal data or use CCTV, advertising or marketing in its every day business to notify the Information Commissioner who is responsible in maintaining the Public Register.  This can be done online at http://www.dpr.gov.uk/   or by contacting the Notification helpline on 01625 545740.

There are exemptions from notification and a self assessment guide is available online or a complete notification guide book can be ordered from the helpline.  Other than paying the annual statutory notification fee of 35 there are no other charges.  Businesses with concerns can obtain advice from Trading Standards by
telephoning The Highland Councils Consumer Advice line on 0845 600 4222 (local rate) or visiting any Council Service Point.

More Information
The Information Commissioner maintains a public register of data controllers. Each register entry includes the name and address of the data controller and a general description of the processing of personal data by a data controller. Individuals can consult the register to find out what processing of personal data being carried out by a particular data controller.

Notification is the process by which a data controller's details are added to the register. The Data Protection Act 1988 requires every data controller who is processing personal data to notify unless they are exempt.  2. Clarification and further information are available from Nigel MacKenzie at The Highland Council Trading Standards on 01463 228700.