Crack down on cold-calling

13 August 2015

Last year more than 180,000 complaints were received by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding “cold calls.”

The most common cold calls regard payment protection insurance (PPI) and accident claims, but the scope of such nuisance calls is increasing. We are now seeing so-called “charity” cold calls after reports that charities had sold on personal details of a dementia sufferer who was later conned out of thousands of pounds. 

In a bid to crack down on nuisance calls the ICO will this week issue a record-breaking fine in the region of £200,000 to a cold-calling company that has been making automated calls to householders on an “industrial scale.”

In addition to issuing fines, the ICO is now able to close down operations and raid premises. Agencies and individuals are calling for more to be done, however, as currently the strongest punishment for unlawful disclosure of personal data by individuals to these cold-calling companies is a fine from a magistrates’ court. This is despite a proposal in the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act for imprisonment of such individuals, a proposal that was later disregarded.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.