Feeds

ICO clamps down on nuisance calls, slaps £90k fine on Glasgow firm

Ring, ring. Ring, ring. Give us a roast spud

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A Glasgow company that deliberately nagged households with nuisance calls has been fined £90,000 by Britain's data protection watchdog.

DM Design had annoyed the hell out of thousands of people by making nuisance marketing calls to their home telephone numbers.

The Information Commissioner's Office said that the regulator and the Telephone Preference Service had received nearly 2,000 complaints about the outfit.

It was repeatedly found to have made marketing calls without first checking if people on the other end of the telephone had opted out of receiving such messages and only responded to a small number of gripes it received.

The ICO said that DM Design was "in clear breach of the [2003 Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations] law".

It was also apparently found to have employed bizarre tactics against some of the people who had moaned about the calls.

The watchdog noted one incident where a worker at DM Design refused to remove a complainant's details from the firm's system. Instead the employee threatened to "continue to call at more inconvenient times like Sunday lunchtime”.

The ICO said that the £90,000 fine was the first such monetary penalty it had slapped on a nuisance call company for breaching the PECR.

In November last year, the regulator fined two owners of a rogue marketing firm for spamming UK mobiles with millions of texts over the space of three years.

They received a massive £440,000 penalty when the ICO made its first use of new powers gained in to levy heavy fines for serious breaches of the UK's PECR against the two owners of Tetrus Telecoms, Christopher Niebel and Gary McNeish.

And the clampdown on nuisance call outfits will continue, the ICO warned. It said that two other companies have already been told that significant fines could be imposed within the next few weeks for violating the PECR.

It added that 10 other firms were being investigated for cold-calling and sending spam text messages.

"Today’s action sends out a clear message to the marketing industry that this menace will not be tolerated," said Information Commissioner Christopher Graham. "This company showed a clear disregard for the law and a lamentable attitude toward the people whose day they were disturbing. This is not good enough."

The ICO and communications watchdog Ofcom - which is responsible for regulating silent calls - are planning to write a joint open letter to the marketing industry reminding companies that they need to comply with the law.

"This fine will not be an isolated penalty," Graham added. "We know other companies are showing a similar disregard for the law and we’ve every intention of taking further enforcement action against companies that continue to bombard people with unlawful marketing texts and calls."

If nuisance call outfits fail to operate within the PECR regulations then the ICO has powers to levy fines of up to £500,000. Ofcom, meanwhile, can whack penalties of up to £2m over breaches of rules linked to abandoned and silent calls.

The ICO is also urging people to fill in an online survey where they can complain about such unwanted texts and calls. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.