Information Commissioner's Office
Maidstone firm responsible for nuisance calls fined £50,000
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a £50,000 fine to MyHome Installations Ltd for pursuing people who had specifically opted out of telephone marketing.
The ICO received 169 complaints concerning the calls to phone numbers listed on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the UK’s official opt-out of telephone marketing register.
The complaints from members of the public involved receiving unwanted calls about electrical surveys and home security from the Maidstone based company.
An ICO investigation discovered that MyHome Installations bought data over 18 months from third party companies in order to market its services. These companies told the security business that the personal details had been screened against the ‘no call’ register.
But MyHome Installations said it was unable to provide any evidence of consent due to a previous marketing manager historically buying the data and adding it to their call lists without any reference to its source.
Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement said:
“The Telephone Preference Service exists to protect the public from the scourge of unwanted, nuisance calls.
“This company blatantly ignored its responsibilities. It did not carry out the proper due diligence checks on its suppliers to make sure they were operating within the law and despite initial warnings from us, still didn’t resolve the problem.”
The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) set out the rules around telephone marketing and clearly state it’s against the law to call people who have registered their phone number on the TPS list unless they state otherwise.
Mr Eckersley added:
“We think the complaints we received were just the tip of the iceberg.”
People said they felt ‘pestered’ by the company and pointed out to call operators they had no wish to receive the calls because their phone numbers were on the TPS.
One complainant commented: “Callers asking about my home security are of concern to me, as they may be sounding out the property prior to crime.”
Another said: “They wanted to carry out an electrical survey of my home and propose changes. I said no, I didn’t want to participate and then another girl phoned back half an hour later to pester me into getting a quote and insisted that I would be putting my home at risk if I didn’t”
The ICO has published detailed guidance for firms carrying out direct marketing by phone, text, email, post or fax.
Notes to editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
- The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
- The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The ICO has the power to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) sit alongside the Data Protection Act. They give people specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications.
There are specific rules on:
- marketing calls, emails, texts and faxes;
- cookies (and similar technologies);
- keeping communications services secure; and
- customer privacy as regards traffic and location data, itemised billing, line identification, and directory listings.
- We aim to help organisations comply with PECR and promote good practice by offering advice and guidance. We will take enforcement action against organisations that persistently ignore their obligations.
- Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) are subject to a right of appeal to the (First-tier Tribunal) General Regulatory Chamber against the imposition of the monetary penalty and/or the amount of the penalty specified in the monetary penalty notice.
- Any monetary penalty is paid into the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund and is not kept by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
- To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to org.uk/concerns
Latest News from
Information Commissioner's Office
New guidance on direct marketing and the public sector05/08/2021 09:15:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a new resource to help public sector organisations understand when the direct marketing rules will apply to their messages.
Nuisance call blocker company fined £170,000 for making almost 200,000 illegal marketing calls03/08/2021 12:25:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Yes Consumer Solutions Limited (YCSL) £170,000 for making 188,493 unsolicited direct marketing calls to customers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
ICO’s priorities and impact of our work02/08/2021 12:25:00
The Daily Telegraph recently (31 July 2021) ran a story about the focus of the ICO’s work and the impact that we make.
Blog: Reflecting on the first year of the ‘Explaining decisions made with AI’ guidance02/08/2021 09:10:00
Abigail Hackston, ICO Senior Policy Officer – Innovation looks back on the ICO’s work with organisations who use personal data and artificial intelligence (AI) to support, or to make decisions about individuals.
Blog: Spotlight on the Children’s Code standards - best interests of the child, detrimental use of children’s data and data minimisation28/07/2021 16:15:00
A blog by Michael Murray, ICO’s Head of Regulatory Strategy
Blog: Regulating through a pandemic and beyond28/07/2021 13:20:00
A blog by James Dipple-Johnston, Deputy Commissioner - Chief Regulatory Officer
ICO approves the first UK eIDAS Regulations Qualified Trust Service Provider28/07/2021 09:10:00
The Information Commissioner’s Office has approved GlobalSign as the UK’s first qualified trust service provider [QTSP] under the UK eIDAS Regulations.
ICO's blog on its information rights work26/07/2021 16:20:00
Colleagues from the ICO’s FOI Directorate share their experiences and involvement in raising awareness of our regulation of access to information legislation.
Blog: New toolkit launched to help organisations using AI to process personal data understand the associated risks and ways of complying with data protection law21/07/2021 09:20:00
Alister Pearson, the ICO’s Senior Policy Officer – Technology introduces a new beta version of our AI and Data Protection Risk Toolkit. He explains how it can assure organisations that use AI to process personal data that they are processing it in line with the law and how organisations can help the ICO shape a final version.