Privacy Advisor

UK—Company Fined 90,000 GBP For Nuisance Marketing Calls

May 1, 2013


By Brian Davidson, CIPP/E

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has served a monetary penalty notice totalling 90,000 GBP on a Glasgow-based company for carrying out unwanted marketing calls to the public.

DM Design had been the subject of some 2,000 complaints to both the ICO and the UK's Telephone Preference Service (TPS)—a central database where individuals can register their telephone numbers to opt out of marketing calls from organisations. The investigation found that DM Design had consistently failed to check the TPS to see whether individuals had opted-out of receiving marketing calls—a breach of the law—and responded to only a small number of complaints that it received.

The monetary penalty notice is the first the ICO has issued for a serious breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations relating to live marketing calls and comes after the joint owners of a company received penalties totalling 440,000 GBP in November last year for sending hundreds of thousands of spam texts to individuals.

The ICO has said that it has informed two more companies that it is intending to impose major penalties over breaches of the law, with a final decision likely in the coming weeks. A further 10 companies are subject to ongoing investigations for unwanted marketing calls and sending spam text messages.

Brian Davidson, CIPP/E, is a privacy and information advisor at Field Fisher Waterhouse, LLP.