March 31 2015.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has welcomed the announcement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that it will make it easier to take action against companies making nuisance calls and sending spam texts.

Electronic marketing, including marketing calls and texts, are covered by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. The regulations require organisations to have an individual’s consent to make automated marketing calls or send marketing texts to that person. For live marketing calls, the organisation must not contact people that have opted out of receiving them; most commonly by registering with the Telephone Preference Service.

The ICO currently has the power to issue monetary penalties of up to £500,000 if the ICO is able to prove that the marketing calls or messages caused, or had the potential to cause, “substantial damage or distress”. The ICO has called for this bar to be lowered to make it easier to fine companies who are breaching the regulations but who would currently not meet this statutory bar.

The DCMS has published details about the changes. The changes are set to come into effect on the 6th of April 2015.

CLICK HERE for more information.