The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a GDPR awareness campaign aimed at people running micro-businesses – those employing fewer than 10 people.

The GDPR replaces the current Data Protection Act and comes into force on 25 May 2018. Regulated by the ICO, the new law gives people more control about how their data is used, shared and stored and requires organisations to be more accountable and transparent about how they use it.

The campaign has been launched with a series of radio adverts, which are principally aimed at those micro-businesses who haven’t heard about the GDPR at all. 

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:

“All organisations have to be ready for the new data protection rules, but we recognise that micro-businesses in the UK face particular challenges.

“I’m sure the women and men running micro businesses in the UK will want to be ready when the new law comes into force, but they may not know where to start, and that is what the new tools and information on our website can help with.

“For the large majority of micro businesses, the steps towards GDPR compliance can be practical and achievable without costly or expensive external support.

“It’s also worth noting that many sector and industry groups and associations are offering help to micro businesses about the GDPR and can be a good starting point for industry-specific advice.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
  3. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 and will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018. The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.
  4. The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The ICO has the power to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
  5. Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:
    • fairly and lawfully processed;
    • processed for limited purposes;
    • adequate, relevant and not excessive;
    • accurate and up to date;
    • not kept for longer than is necessary;
    • processed in line with your rights;
    • secure; and
    • not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.
  6. Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) are subject to a right of appeal to the (First-tier Tribunal) General Regulatory Chamber against the imposition of the monetary penalty and/or the amount of the penalty specified in the monetary penalty notice.
  7. Any monetary penalty is paid into the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund and is not kept by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
  8. To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns.