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DATA PROTECTION REGISTRAR: 'NET SURFERS BEWARE'

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Thousands of people using the internet need to be aware that they may be inadvertently breaking the law and liable ...
Thousands of people using the internet need to be aware that they may be inadvertently breaking the law and liable to prosecution. Anyone who is processing personal information, even as little names and addresses, received over the Internet could find themselves facing an unlimited fine in the higher courts if they do not register with the Data Protection Registrar. Even those already registered may need to amend their registration details.

The Data Protection Registrar enforces The Data Protection Act 1984, which is concerned with regulating the use of personal information that is automatically processed. The act requires that by law those who record and use personal information on computer must register with the Data Protection Registrar and they must be open about the use of that data and follow the eight enforceable principles of good information handling practice laid down in the act.

The internet is changing the approach which organisations undertake to certain business activities, for example, the provision of transaction based services such as on-line shopping, online banking etc. With such activities involving interaction with individuals over the Internet, it is highly likely that the processing of personal data will occur.

Ignorance of the Data Protection Act is no defence and people operating either as individuals or part of an organisation could be prosecuted and could face an unlimited fine. Therefore, The Data Protection Registrar has issued guidance for anyone who might need to register under the Data Protection Act as a result of their use of the Internet. The guidance 'Registration for Internet Users' is freely available upon written request from: Publications, Marketing & Communications Department, Office of the Data Protection Registrar, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
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