Following the coming into force of the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999, Elizabeth France, Data Protection Commissioner, has issued the first enforcement notices requiring compliance with the Regs.
Topic: Data privacy
Who: Data Protection Commissioner, Second Telecom Ltd. and Top 20 Ltd.
When: June 2000
Following the coming into force of the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999, Elizabeth France, Data Protection Commissioner, has issued from the Commission’s HQ in Wilmslow the first enforcement notices requiring compliance with the Regs. The TDPPR make it clear that prior consent ("opt-in") is needed before any unsolicited direct marketing is conducted by automated calling machines, by automated fax machines, or by non automated fax to individual subscribers.
"Opt-out" (ie acceptable unless the recipient has previously notified the marketer that he does not wish to receive the communication) applies to unsolicited direct marketing by non automated fax to corporate subscribers and by non automated telephone calls to individual or corporate subscribers.
In the case of Second Telecom and Top 20, unsolicited faxes were the problem and the Commission is threatening other enforcement action in the near future.
Why this matters:
According to the DMA (UK) (whose task it is to operate the various statutory opt-in and opt-out schemes) around a stonking 1000 complaints a week are currently being received about unsolicited marketing calls and faxes. In some cases this is put down to marketers failing to check their lists against those kept by the DMA as part of the now statutory fax and telephone preference services, and in other cases it may be due to sheer ignorance of the new law. Ignorance is no defence, however, and any marketers still understandably in doubt about which system applies to which form of marketing and which is opt-in and which opt-out, should take advice.