Scottish company hit with maximum fine for making nearly 200 million nuisance calls
2 Mar 2020 03:47 PM
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined CRDNN Limited with the maximum £500,000 fine for making more than 193 million automated nuisance calls.
Operating out of a Clydebank business park, CRDNN Limited was raided by the ICO in March 2018, with computer equipment and documents seized for further analysis of their nuisance call operation.
The subsequent ICO investigation revealed that CRDNN Limited was found to be making nearly 1.6 million calls per day about window scrappage, debt management, window, conservatory and boiler sales between 1 June and 1 October 2018.
Some of the calls potentially put people’s safety at risk as they were made to Network Rail’s Banavie Control Centre, and clogged up the line for drivers and pedestrians at unmanned level crossings, who were calling to check it was safe to cross the rails.
The calls were all made from so-called ‘spoofed’ numbers, which meant that people who received the calls could not identify who was making them. The company broke the law by not gaining consent from the phone owners to make those calls and by not providing a valid opt out.
CRDNN Limited came to the attention of the ICO when more than 3,000 complaints were made about the nuisance calls.
Andy Curry, Head of Investigations at the ICO, yesterday said:
“This company affected the lives of millions of people, causing them disruption, annoyance and distress. The volume of calls was immense and to add to people’s frustrations attempting to opt out of those calls simply compounded their receipt of further calls.
“The directors of CRDNN knowingly operated their business with a complete disregard for the law. They did all they could to evade detection, from changing and not updating address details to transferring their operation abroad and attempting to go into liquidation. That’s why their conduct called for the maximum fine possible under the law.
“But through the cooperation of the public who brought their complaints to us, we were able to identify those responsible and take action against them.”
CRDNN Limited has also been issued with an enforcement notice ordering it to comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations laws within 35 days of receipt of the notice.
If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on 0303 123 9070, or visit the media section on our website.
Notes to Editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) 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 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) 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.
- The ICO has the power under PECR to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
- 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 ico.org.uk/concerns.