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ICO - Estate agent prosecuted for offence under the Data Protection Act

 

An estate agent last week pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that his business processes personal data.

John Newbound, of Newbank Estate and Letting Agents, is the second estate agent that the ICO has prosecuted this month for an offence under section 17 of the Data Protection Act. The hearing took place today at Cwmbran Magistrates Court. Mr Newbound been ordered to pay a £100 fine, £250 towards prosecution costs, and a £15 victims’ surcharge.

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.

Assistant Commissioner for Wales, Anne Jones, said:

"The fact that this is the second prosecution against an estate agent that the ICO has brought to court this month proves that the industry still needs to take its legal responsibilities more seriously.

"We are currently writing to all estate and lettings agents in the UK to remind them to check their requirements under the Data Protection Act.

The message behind today’s prosecution is clear – ignore our warning and you too could end up in court."

ENDS

If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on 0303 123 9070 or visit the website at www.ico.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

This news release is also available in Welsh/Cymraeg.

The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

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.

The ICO is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and produces a monthly e-newsletter. Our For the media page provides more information for journalists.
 

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