Data Protection: Costs

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry Conservative, Banbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Data Protection Act to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators.

Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs

I have been asked to reply.

The regulatory impact assessment for directive 95/46/EC (the data protection directive) includes a compliance cost assessment, a copy of which is available in the Libraries of both Houses.

This assessment lists the total start-up costs of the legislation as £836 million and £630 million in recurring annual costs. There was no assessment of the potential costs to regulators.

In December 2006 the DCA published a report on its participation in the cross-Government administrative burdens measurement exercise, which was intended to measure the administrative costs to businesses, charities and the voluntary sector of complying with Government regulation. This measured the costs to business of complying with the Data Protection Act and associated secondary legislation as £55.9 million in recurring annual administrative costs. However, it should be noted that due to the methodology used during this exercise this figure should be regarded as indicative and not statistically robust.

The full report can be accessed at:

http://www.dca.gov.uk/pubs/reports/abr_mexrc_rep.pdf.

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