Starting this month, the ICO is now running the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which provides individuals with the opportunity to opt out from telephone marketing. The move supports the ICO’s active stance in enforcing the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) against nuisance calls.
The TPS was previously run by Ofcom. Further changes are planned to the PECR this spring to impose personal liability for company directors for nuisance calls. The ICO has a reporting tool on its website to assist individuals to make complaints about nuisance calls. Last year, 140,000 concerns about nuisance marketing were reported to the ICO – that is about 370 a day.
Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, who has been advocating director liability (PL&B UK Report November 2016 p.3), said: “Transfer of the TPS to us will mean complaints about rogue cold callers will be passed even more efficiently to our enforcement officers. That will give us more information about the culprits and help in our bid to come down hard on the law breakers and stop nuisance calls.”
Recently, the ICO fined Nouveau Finance £70,000, Silver City Tech £100,000 and Oracle Insurance Brokers £30,000, all for sending spam texts. Assist Law was fined £30,000 for calling individuals even if they were registered with the Telephone Preference Service. In addition, Key Insolvency Services has been served an enforcement notice after they called individuals subscribed to the Telephone Preference Service. Nouveau Finance and Silver City Tech have been issued with enforcement notices after they sent spam texts. There are another 175 cases under investigation.