Clarification is needed from the island’s Information Commissioner as to whether owners of home video doorbells need to register and pay a fee for the processing of personal data.

This is the view of Chief Minister Alfred Cannan, who said that there hasn’t been a review of the data protection registration fee since 2002, but that a new review into this fee is due to be undertaken by the government soon.

A press release issued by the Information Commissioner stated: ‘Businesses (including sole traders) or organisations processing personal data will be a controller and/or a processor under Data Protection Law and must comply with the requirements, including the need to register and pay a fee.

‘If you operate a home video doorbell, or CCTV system, which records outside the boundaries of your property, then you are required to comply with the law which includes the requirement to register and pay the statutory fee.

‘Failure to register and pay the fee may result in fines of up to £10,000.’

During Tuesday’s House of Keys sitting, MHK for Douglas North, David Ashford, enquired whether a future review of the registration fee would include how home video doorbells are treated.

The Chief Minister replied: ‘I think it’s important to provide some context, as the charge imposed by the data protection legislation is that of a registration fee and only applies to those deemed to be a controller and/or processor of personal data.

‘The Information Commissioner’s press release mentions home video doorbells when they record outside the boundary of their home, but this sometimes can’t be helped and so I will be seeking clarification on this so that these doorbells don’t become a bureaucratic nightmare for people.

‘I suspect that this means the “intention” to record outside the boundaries of your property, but I appreciate this is a concern for people which needs clarification.

‘I certainly don’t think the law was intended to hinder people’s natural ability to look after themselves and protect their homes.’

MHK for Onchan, Julie Edge, asked whether homeowners should be able to charge a fee for the request of their doorbell footage if they’re paying a registration fee, particularly in the case of police investigations.

The Chief Minister said: ‘I am aware of course that these video doorbells and other equipment can be a useful aid to police enquiries. I’m sure that members of society will always want to help the police solve criminal activity, but nevertheless, there is a balance to be had.’