Who: Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”)
When: 21 August 2014
Law as stated at: 5 September 2014
The ICO’s action against nuisance marketing has continued with a raid on a PPI mis-selling claims management call centre during August 2014. The ICO regulates unsolicited electronic communications under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (the “PEC Regs”), and has reported taking action almost every month this year, with the most recent action at the time of writing being an enforcement order against a company making nuisance calls.
In relation to the raid on the claims management call centre, the ICO reported that business was believed to be linked to “as many as six million nuisance text messages” sent to “thousands of people”. The raid was arranged following information supplied through the ICO’s online reporting tool and the Ministry of Justice Claims Management Regulation Unit. The raid has enabled the ICO to seize information on the source of the data and subsequently prevent the data from being sold to third parties.
Why this matters:
This ICO raid reminds marketers that they should be aware of the rules on unsolicited marketing communications under the PEC Regs and make sure they have sufficient consent from individuals before sending marketing messages to them in order to avoid breaching the rules.
In their news report on this matter, the ICO also highlighted the issue of non-compliant marketing contact lists being sold to third parties. This should serve as a reminder to marketers buying in contact databases to carry out due diligence on the origin, adequacy and accuracy of the databases, as they will be on the hook for any breaches of the PEC Regs for their use of those databases.