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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined home improvement company Amber Windows 50,000 GBP after an investigation discovered they had made unsolicited marketing calls to individuals who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which govern telephone and other marketing activities in the UK, prohibit making unsolicited telephone calls to people who have placed their number on the TPS national register. In this case, the ICO had received 524 complaints from people on the register between May 2011 and April 2013.

The ICO has also issued an Enforcement Notice against Amber Windows ordering the company not to call subscribers who have previously said not to call or subscribers who have not consented to the calls and have registered the number with the TPS for at least the required 28 days.

The enforcement action means the ICO has now issued fines totaling over 1,000,000 GBP in the last year against organisations responsible for nuisance telephone calls and texts, having actively invited members of the public to report such instances to the ICO.

The ICO is also in the process of appealing decisions to overturn two of the penalties it issued against the owners of a company last year, when the tribunal judge ruled that while the spam texts were being sent out “on an industrial scale”, it was highly unlikely that this resulted in substantial harm or substantial distress to the recipients—the requirement under law to enable the ICO to use its penalty powers.

The ICO is also currently working with the UK government to have this threshold reduced, with a consultation due to take place later in the year.

The Enforcement Notice against Amber Windows is available here.

Written By

Brian Davidson, CIPP/E

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