Information Commissioner's Office
ICO statement on investigating coronavirus scams
We are supporting businesses eager to stay in touch with customers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ICO can help businesses use people’s personal data responsibly when trying to reach new and existing customers. We provide tools and clear guidance to ensure companies can reach out to their customers in a way that maintains customer trust and meets data protection standards.
But we’re also aware of a growing number of organisations using the public health emergency opportunistically to set up scams and contact vulnerable people using nuisance calls, unsolicited emails, and spam texts.
In recent weeks we’ve seen an increase in complaints about nuisance marketing clearly aimed at preying on people’s fears and we are prioritising such cases. We stand ready to investigate any business taking advantage of the current pandemic.
The ICO has the ability to issue penalties under electronic marketing rules to individual company directors as well as their companies, with fines of up to £500,000.
Where we find evidence of fraud we are working closely with Action Fraud, Trading Standards, law enforcement and other relevant agencies, to continue to protect people, raise awareness and stop criminals during this challenging period.
Latest News from
Information Commissioner's Office
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Statement from Deputy Chief Executive Paul Arnold as the ICO publishes initial guidance for businesses asked to record and maintain personal data of customers, staff and visitors in support of the test and trace scheme.
UK regulators join forces to ensure online services work well for consumers and businesses02/07/2020 12:20:00
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom have set up a new forum to help ensure online services work well for consumers and businesses in the UK.
ICO statement on the Competition and Markets Authority’s market study01/07/2020 16:38:00
ICO statement given on the Competition and Markets Authority’s market study.
ICO releases findings on the use of mobile phone extraction by police forces18/06/2020 14:33:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released an investigation report into the use of mobile phone extraction (MPE) by police forces when conducting criminal investigations in England and Wales.
Statement in response to media enquiries about the Data Protection Impact Assessment for the NHSX’s trial of contact tracing app11/05/2020 09:15:00
An ICO spokesperson said: “We are reviewing the Data Protection Impact Assessment for NHSX’s pilot of its contact tracing app in the Isle of Wight.”
Blog: Information Commissioner sets out new priorities for UK data protection during COVID-19 and beyond06/05/2020 09:10:00
Blog posted by: Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, 05 May 2020.
COVID-19 contact tracing: data protection expectations on app development05/05/2020 09:10:00
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham and Executive Director of Technology and Innovation Simon McDougall appeared before the Human Rights Joint Committee yesterday (4 May 2020).
Statement in response to details about an NHSX contact tracing app to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic27/04/2020 09:10:00
Statement given recently (24 April 2020) in response to details about an NHSX contact tracing app to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.