Electronic direct marketing: new guidance from the ICO

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Posted in:Corporate and Commercial|May 16, 2016 | Join the mailing list

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has now published its guidance regarding electronic direct marketing. The new guidance is aimed at helping organisations to comply with their obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (Privacy Regulations).

The guidance provides organisations with information regarding third party (indirect) consent.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently issued a record £350,000 monetary penalty notice on Prodial Ltd, a Brighton-based lead generation company which made over 46 million automated nuisance calls. This is a record fine by the ICO, justified by over 1000 complaints about Prodial Ltd’s automated calls, which played recorded messages relating to PPI claims.

According to the ICO; ‘Companies can use internet phone lines to cheaply make enormous numbers of recorded marketing calls. The law is clear that companies can only make calls to people who have specifically consented to being contacted in this way. But the ICO investigation found Prodial had no such consent.’

Although Prodial Ltd was said to have generated a turnover of almost £1 million, the company was placed into voluntary liquidation following the involvement of the ICO. The ICO is now working with the liquidators involved in an attempt to recover the £350,000 fine.

The ICO has also issued enforcement notices to 3 Manchester-based companies: Advanced Voip Solutions Ltd, Money Help Marketing Ltd and Preferred Pension Ltd. These companies have been ordered to stop or face legal action.

To find out more about the issues raised in this post, or to discuss any queries regarding compliance or the SPA get in touch with our Corporate and Commercial team on +44 (0) 161 829 2599.
The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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