ICO welcomes new powers to fine organisations for unwanted marketing calls and messages
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News release - 20 April 2011
Information Commissioner has today welcomed new powers to serve
monetary penalties of up to £500,000 for the most serious incidents of
businesses and other organisations making unwanted marketing phone
calls or sending unwanted marketing emails to consumers. The change –
along with other powers granted to the ICO - will come into force as
part of an amendment to the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications
Regulations (PECR) on 25 May 2011.
powers, which have been confirmed by the Department for Culture, Media
and Sport, will include:
•Monetary penalty powers extended: the
Information Commissioner can serve a monetary penalty of up £500,000
for the most serious breaches of PECR. This covers businesses and other
organisations sending unwanted marketing emails and texts, as well as
making live and automated marketing phone calls.
- Increased investigatory powers: the Information
Commissioner can require telecommunications companies and internet
service providers (ISPs) to provide his office with information that he
needs to investigate breaches of the Regulations.
- Compulsory notification when breaches occur:
telecommunications companies and ISPs will be required to notify the
ICO and their customers in certain circumstances when a personal data
- Increased audit powers: the Information
Commissioner will have the power to audit telecommunication companies
and ISPs for compliance with these personal data breach notification
- New rules for websites using cookies and similar
technologies: the ICO will be responsible for regulating compliance
with this new requirement and will soon be issuing advice.
Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:
“The ICO has
been calling for increased powers to regulate breaches of PECR for some
time. The changes to the Regulations will grant us the right to impose
significant monetary penalties for the most serious breaches of the
rules and give us improved powers to investigate companies that make
nuisance marketing calls.
powers are coming into force on 25 May. We will be issuing guidance to
reflect the changes that are being introduced.”
1.The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds
information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public
bodies and data privacy for individuals.
2.The ICO has specific responsibilities set out
in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic
Communications Regulations 2003.
3.The ICO is on Twitter,
and produces a monthly e-newsletter.
the media page provides more information for journalists.
4.Anyone who processes personal information must
comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make
sure that personal information is:
- Fairly and lawfully processed
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up to date
- Not kept for longer than is necessary
- Processed in line with your rights
- Not transferred to other countries without
About the Author
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s
independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public
interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for
individuals. We do this by promoting good practice, ruling on
complaints, providing information to individuals and organisations and
taking appropriate action when the law is broken.
The ICO enforces and oversees the following
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Privacy and Electronic Communications
- Environmental Information Regulations
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-06-07 15:46:35 in Business Articles
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