The ICO fines two UK companies for breaching PECR and launches video guides for small businesses.
The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently fined two companies a total of £180,000 for making unlawful marketing calls. The companies, Ice Telecommunications Ltd and UK Direct Business Solutions Ltd, were found to have made thousands of unsolicited calls to individuals who are registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Even though the TPS warned the two companies about this several times, they continued to make the calls. The ICO launched investigations into both companies after receiving complaints from members of the public.
The two companies were found to have breached the PECR by making unlawful marketing calls.
Ice Telecommunications Ltd was fined £100,000 for making over 9,000 unsolicited calls to individuals registered with the TPS. UK Direct Business Solutions Ltd was fined £80,000 for making over 300 unsolicited calls to individuals registered with the TPS. The companies were found to have breached the PECR by failing to properly screen their marketing lists against the TPS register while ignoring the repeated warnings from the TPS.
Whereas no consent is required to make live marketing calls in the UK in general, it is required where the phone number is registered with the TPS, as it was the case. However, the two companies had not obtained the consent from the concerned individuals.
The ICO fines two UK companies as a message to companies that the organisation will take action to ensure the protection of the public, as well as UK businesses.
The ICO has the power to fine companies up to £500,000 for breaches of electronic communications law. In recent years, the regulator has stepped up its enforcement action against companies that make unsolicited marketing calls or send unsolicited marketing emails. In 2020, the ICO issued fines totalling £3.2 million to companies that had breached the PECR. In a statement from the ICO, Director of Investigations, Andy Curry, said “These fines are another clear message to companies flouting the law – we will take action to ensure the public and UK businesses are protected, and legitimate businesses complying with the law do not lose out”.
The ICO has launched three videos to aid small businesses in navigating electronic communications law.
In addition to the fines, the ICO has launched three videos to aid small businesses in navigating electronic communications law. In the ICO’s e-learning hub for small to medium enterprises, the regulator has a collection of educational videos covering a range of topics. The most recently added videos cover data protection for direct marketing, a guide to soft opt-in for email and text marketing, as well as telephone marketing. The videos are part of the ICO’s ongoing campaign to educate businesses and individuals about their rights and responsibilities under electronic communications law.