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New alert over Data Protection rip-off

05 March 2003Written by ATG Reporter

A company condemned by the Information Commissioner for misleading businesses into paying unnecessary fees for registering under the Data Protection Act is still targeting antique dealers across the country.

Crown Data Collection of Hyde in Cheshire, who charge £95 for a service that can easily be completed by those concerned for £35, are one of 18 firms singled out by the commissioner for writing to businesses and giving the appearance of being official bodies issuing warnings to register.

The commissioner is keen to make clear that there is no connection between his office and these businesses. “He has been disturbed that a number of people have been confused and troubled by the wording and tone of some of the correspondence issued by these businesses,” a statement on his Website (www.dpr.gov.uk) explains.

“His office is co-operating with other relevant authorities, who are exploring what action might be taken.”

The trade have been approached before by similarly blacklisted firms (see front page Antiques Trade Gazette No 1555, September 14, 2002).

This time the alarm has been raised by the British Antique Dealers’ Association, who have been contacted by a number of members who have received warning letters from Crown Data Collection.

As we reported before, not all firms have to register under the Data Protection Act, but those businesses who keep records of people and companies must register and can do so directly with the commissioner for £35.

Details of whether or not you are required to register under the Data Protection Act 1998, as well as of how to do so, are available on the commission Website listed above, or you can telephone the notification helpline on 01625 545740.

The commissioner advises anyone having problems with companies approaching them with warning letters similar to those reported here to contact their local Trading Standards office.

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