Charities and Data Protection Notification

Jeremy Phillips

Datonomite Rosie recently became a trustee of a wonderful little charity called Livlife. In the process of her new role as trustee, she as been learning all about the world of data protection and the way in which it relates to charities. It is a little known fact that not all organisations are required to notify under the Data Protection Act. Charities (and other not for profit organisations) are one of the main exceptions.

The key factors in determining whether or not a charity is required to notify are these:
(i) Do the charity’s objects state that it is “not for profit”;
(ii) Is the information is collected in order to reach the charity’s objectives?
(iii) Is the collected information not passed outside of the charity’s objectives?
(iv) Does the charity have regular contact with its clientele?

If the answer to all of the above is “yes”, then the charity does not have to notify the ICO. Even if the answer is “no”, the more standard notification exemption may apply (i.e. the exemption for core business processes such as staff administration, advertising, marketing and PR and accounts and record keeping).

Since the saving of even £35 for notification fee will make a difference to a charity, Datonomy praises this wonderful exemption.
You can find out more information on notification via the ICO website here.

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