Labour Party told to stop spam-calls
While Tory MP hunts for missing emails
The Information Commissioner's Office has told the Labour Party to stop using automated telephone diallers to contact people without their permission.
In 2007 the party used a recorded message from Corrie's Vera Duckworth - or rather Liz Dawn, the actress who played her - to rally voters for the elections.
The ICO received complaints about Vera's marketing calls. It told the Labour Party that the messages were direct marketing and should stop. Organisations should not make such calls without the consent of the person they are phoning.
The Labour Party agreed to stop but in June 2009 the ICO received more complaints, from the SNP and a voter, about the use of the recording in the local and European elections. The Labour Party admitted making calls to 495,000 people. It said it bought the numbers and names from commercially available lists.
The ICO will now serve Labour with an enforcement notice. The Party has 28 days to appeal the ruling. Otherwise it should tread carefully - failure to obey an enforcement notice is a criminal offence.
In other news, the ICO has promised to investigate allegations made by Tory MP Justine Greening that the Department of Transport deleted emails she'd requested about the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
Greening made a Freedom of Information request to the DfT, asking for the information. However, she then noticed strange gaps in the correspondence and email conversations that apparently ended without resolution.
The ICO said it had received Greening's complaint and was talking to the DfT and BAA to get more information.®
Stop cooking your dinner and vote for me!
I don't understand why any party would even want to do this. Surely annoying your electorate is a really *bad* way to get more votes! Maybe it was actually the opposition making the calls...
A title, a title, my kingdom for a title.
I agree. I've had really pushy sales people call up and argue with me when I say I've signed up to the TPS and that I really don't want them to call, that this isn't a sales call - it's a product survey (about products they happen to sell) and therefore is excluded from the TPS and telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, they have every right to call me.
As though that's going to make me suddenly think 'of course, I must buy from you'... I'd have thought that any decent telemarketer (they're only doing a job after all, unpleasant though it may be for both them and us - it's the marketing departments that hire them who are to blame) isn't going to waste time arguing that could be spent calling the next on the list but some clearly haven't figured that out.
But surely the point of the TPS should be so that I can say I do not wish to receive *any* unsolicited calls for whatever reason from anyone that I have not expressly given my details to.
And while I'm ranting, that includes companies that despite every care to tick/untick any boxes allowing them to give my details to 'relevant' 3rd parties have clearly still sold them to marketing groups who sell them on time and time again. Even if 3rd parties have been allowed access, that permission should not be recursive!
Hmm, a bit of a sore point there I think :)
In the U.S., last I heard,
political (and religious?) organisations were still allowed to phone you without permission.