European Data Protection Digest

ICO Finds Labour Party Calls Breached Privacy Law

PRIVACY LAW—UK

February 12, 2010

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has determined that the Labour Party's 500,000 unsolicited phone calls during last year's elections were against the law, The Guardian reports. Deputy Commissioner David Smith says such calls cause "annoyance and disruption" and should not be made without prior consent. The ICO'S findings note that after its 2007 warnings to the Labour Party about telemarketing, the office received more complaints in 2009. A party official, however, says the party "considered advice from the Information Commissioner's Office prior to making these calls and believed that we had abided by this advice. We will now examine this decision in detail." Failure to comply with the ruling is considered a criminal offence that could result in prosecution and fines of up to £5,000.
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