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Thought for the day - Gary Lineker & GDPR

Gary Lineker, host of Match of the Day was recently reported as the BBC’s highest earner on around 1.8 million.

Obscene to some, necessary to others but how does a media network without any advertising revenue afford this? – the mandatory licence fee.

This is not a debate about the merits or otherwise of the licence fee but it got me to thinking about the Information Commissioners Office. The ICO has reported a 400% increase in ‘security incident’ notifications and so many calls and enquiries to its helpdesk service that there is an increasing waiting list for a response. Add to that the understaffing and relatively low wages and you have the makings of an organisation that despite best intentions will struggle to enforce the legislation its very existence is justified by, resulting in less compliance, more breaches and more demand on their services. An obvious downwards spiral.

Which brings me back to the BBC affording Lineker.

The ICO, unlike all other EU Data Protection Authorities had the ‘right’ to a subscription fee reinstated post GDPR by the Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 with a new tier system for charges with a maximum penalty of £4,350 fine (150% of the top tier fee) for non-payment or payment of the wrong amount. Yet this seems to be under publicised with many organisations completely unaware of this obligation.

So my message to the ICO is:

1 Start at the beginning – spend your marketing/promotions budget on subscription awareness and raise the much needed capital to fund the organisation.

2 When you take enquiries/calls take the opportunity to ask whether registered and if not why not. Any controller issuing a query that hasn’t registered should be sent a registration demand before the query is dealt with.

3 When an organisation registers it gets emailed a PDF certificate. Why isn’t there any accompanying guidance on compliance? This is the perfect (and cost free) opportunity to promote compliance best practice.

OK the ICO are never going to generate as much money as the BBC licence fee but that’s OK, I want Gary Lineker as Data Commissioner as much as I want Elizabeth Denham introducing Match of the Day.

For the full ICO advice on subscriptions see link below.


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