Anyone who is currently exempt from the legal requirement to register with the Office of the Data Protection Authority (ODPA) will now continue to be exempt until January 2021.

This means that any local entity (such as small businesses and sole traders) who currently meet the exemption criteria (find out what these are here) will not need to register with the ODPA until the beginning of 2021.

From 1 January 2021 all exemptions to registering with the ODPA will end, and any local entity doing anything with personal data will be legally obliged to register with the ODPA and pay a small annual fee that will contribute towards the ODPA’s operational costs.

The ODPA is an independent regulator and as such must be financially independent. It is working with the States of Guernsey towards agreeing a self-funding model which meets its operational costs mostly from annual fees paid by registered entities, rather than taxpayers.

It has taken longer than expected for the States of Guernsey and the ODPA to agree and implement a self-funding model. Because of this delay the Committee for Home Affairs will shortly be extending the current registration exemptions. They were due to end on 31 December this year, but will now continue until 31 December 2020.

Emma Martins, the Bailiwick’s Data Protection Commissioner commented on the extension.

‘For the past year we have been working hard to try to reach agreement with the States of Guernsey on how the ODPA’s operational activities are funded. Above all else, we want to ensure that we agree on a fair, low-cost, low-admin model that allows local businesses to concentrate their efforts on running their businesses well, rather than filling in bureaucratic forms. We continue to pursue that goal.’

Please visit: to find out what this means for local businesses and other entities who use personal data.