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London, UK, Mar 10, 2011 –/BackupReview.info/– An estate agent has today pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office that his business processes personal data.

Peter Quigg, of PDQ Property Sales, was today convicted under section 17 of the Data Protection Act at Ormskirk Magistrates Court. He has been fined £250 and has also been ordered to pay £265 towards prosecution costs, as well as 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. 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.”

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

2. 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.

3. 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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