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Data Protection: Enforcement

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (1) what the maximum penalty is that the Information Commissioner can impose on a direct mailing company that is in breach of section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998; and if she will make a statement; (146133)

(2) how much was spent by the Information Commissioner on prosecuting direct mailers in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The Information Commissioner does not have the power to impose a penalty on a direct mailing company for breach of section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998. Section 11 of the Act gives a right for an individual to give notice in writing for an organisation to cease processing their personal data for the purpose of marketing. If the organisation concerned fails to comply, the individual can seek enforcement at court. An individual can ask the Commissioner’s Office to make an assessment of processing, but this does not result in punitive action. Failure to comply with an enforcement order is a criminal offence and could result in prosecution.