Parliament Acts on Worsening Nuisance Calls


Due to the increasing number of complaints regarding unwanted marketing messages and abandoned, silent phone calls, the UK Committee on Culture, Media and Sports has recently published its report on nuisance calls since it started its inquiry in July 2013.

The report focuses on the improvement of the regulations and its implementation, as well as the effectiveness of the Telephone Preference Service in curtailing this problem. More importantly, the Committee made the following conclusions and recommendations in order to lessen, if not completely eliminate, these unwanted calls and messages:

– that the ease to acquire an approval for marketing calls leads to unfair processing of personal data and could be considered a direct breach of section 4 of the Data Protection Act
– that the report considers the statement given by the Information Commissioner’s Office which says that organisations should first have the individual’s consent before sending their marketing messages
– that it should be in the commercial interests of both mobile phone network operators and handset manufacturers to filter out unwanted text messages
– that the Government should make a law prescribing the withholding of caller identification in telephone calls made either for marketing or for establishing marketing leads

The report also recommends that there should be a single nuisance calls helpline to which individuals could send their complains and that this should be prominently displayed on all telephone bills.

All this is positive. However, some critics are saying that these „solutions“ have not dealt with the bigger flaws of the whole system. Many think that there should be an agency independent of the regulators to channel complaints. That the Committee failed to recommend that regulators should just simply prohibit the use of telemarketing was also cited as another shortcoming.

To view the whole report, please follow this link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmcumeds/636/636.pdf

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