Data Protection – are we nearly there yet?

Data Protection has been a hot topic in Guernsey as well as worldwide over the last few years. Does anyone really know what it means or the implications? We all know that we need to ‘consent‘ to just about everything concerning our personal data these days in order to carry out the simplest of tasks, yet we still seem to receive a barrage of spam e-mails and unwarranted approaches from third parties despite this supposedly more regulated data environment. Is there no end to the red tape?

In a word ‘NO‘. It‘s only going to get worse. From 1st January 2021 there is a requirement in Guernsey to hold a data protection license for all incorporated and unincorporated organisations should you hold or process any data whatsoever. This can be as simple as names and addresses. This will cover all companies, sole traders, charities, non-profit organisations, clubs, church groups, PTA‘s, music groups, yoga groups etc. – the list goes on. Almost everyone will need to register and purchase a license for the princely sum of £50 which is renewable annually between 1st January and 28th February each year.

Is this a revenue generating exercise I hear you ask? Well, yes it is required to fund the Office of the Data Protection Authority (ODPA) in Guernsey which has been tasked by the States of Guernsey with becoming self funding. There is no opt out so I‘m afraid it is what it is and we all must comply. Any previous exemptions will now fall away except for a very small exemption for using personal data for purely domestic/household purposes.

So, what do I need to do?

Before 28th February 2021 you will need to register for a data protection licence with the ODPA in Guernsey and pay the requisite fee. This can be done directly or by using a Levy Collection Agent (LCA) such as a corporate services provider in Guernsey to do this on your behalf.

If you are already registered you will need to renew your existing licence by 28th February 2021 (your previous renewal date is no longer relevant) and pay the requisite fee. Again an LCA can do this on your behalf.

You can register online at

The fee paid is based on how many full-time equivalent employees you have:

  • £2,000/year for organisations with 50 or more full time equivalent (FTE) staff
  • £50/year for all other organisations
  • £0/year for registered charities and not-for-profit organisations

Registering with the ODPA does not make you compliant with the law. This is achieved by how you treat people’s data that you hold ensuring it is not unlawfully held, processed or shared.

It is intended that by meeting these duties organisations will benefit directly by building trust and confidence with their customers, service users, staff and any other people whose data they use. And ultimately it should help to reduce data harms that can damage people’s lives, careers, and reputations.

Parish Group is a registered LCA and is able to register with the ODPA on behalf of our clients reducing their administrative burden. This is one of the many corporate services we can assist with to ensure your corporate structures are compliant with the laws in Guernsey and follow best practice. Let the red tape be our problem, not yours!

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