Government to make it easier for the ICO to fine nuisance call companies
Published 25 February 2015
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed its intention to amend the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 ("PECR"). The legislation currently provides that in order for the ICO to take action against a company committing nuisance call marketing, the company's actions must be causing ‘substantial damage or substantial distress’. The government plans to remove this stipulation which will effectively lower the threshold required.
The ICO commented that "The rules around marketing calls have been a licence for spammers and scammers, and people are sick of them. This law change gives consumers the chance to fight back - We still need people to report these calls to us, but now we can use those complaints to better target the companies behind this nuisance.”
The ICOs comments come only days after the ICO publicly criticised the government, in its blog of 11 February 2015, for dragging its feet on the implementation of an amendment to the law.
It is planned for the amendment to take place from 6 April 2015.
To view the announcement, please click here.
What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?
Financial services companies should pay particular attention to compliance with PECR.