Enforcement action was initiated by the Data Protection Commission against Second Telcom and Top 20 in respect of the sending of unsolicited marketing faxes
Topic: Data privacy
Who: Second Telcom Ltd, Top 20 Ltd and the Data Protection Commission
When: Late 2000
Enforcement action was initiated by the Data Protection Commission against Second Telcom and Top 20 in respect of the sending of unsolicited marketing faxes. To stop that action going further both companies agreed to accept service of formal notices, ratified by the Data Protection Tribunal, requiring them to abide by Regulation 23 of the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999. Reg. 23 makes it a criminal offence to send unsolicited marketing faxes to any number, individual or corporate, listed on the Fax Preference Service ("FPS") register. Regulation 24 makes it an offence to send such faxes to an individual's number without prior consent. This also applies to numbers of individuals who are sole traders or partners in a business partnership.
Why this matters:
There is no charge for individuals who wish to register with the FPS as not wanting unsolicited marketing faxes, but direct marketing organisations must pay to search the register and "clean" their lists. Even if individuals' numbers have not been registered with the FPS, it is still illegal to send unsolicited marketing faxes to numbers of individuals as opposed to companies, unless the individual has given prior written consent i.e. "opted-in." Commercial conference companies sending unsolicited faxes about forthcoming events to individual's direct fax numbers within businesses would do well to take note!