Estate agent prosecuted for data protection failure

The Data Protection Act 1998 requires every organisation or person who is processing personal information in an automated form to notify, unless they are exempt. Failure to notify is a criminal offence and could lead to a fine of up to £5,000 in a Magistrates Court, or unlimited fines in a Crown Court. The ICO is currently writing to all estate and letting agents in the UK urging them to check their requirements under the Act.

Head of Enforcement, Mick Gorrill, said:

“This case should serve as a warning to all organisations that are processing personal data – failure to notify is a criminal offence that could land you in court.

“This requirement is written into data protection legislation for a number of very valid reasons, not least because it gives people an added assurance that businesses and other organisations understand the need to keep their personal details secure.”

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