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ICO ISSUE £180,000 FINE FOR PRIVACY & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS REGULATIONS BREACH

ICO ISSUE £180,000 FINE FOR PRIVACY & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS REGULATIONS BREACH

A Cheshire company that hounded people with automated nuisance calls without their consent has been fined by the ICO.

The £180,000 monetary penalty was issued to Advanced VoIP Solutions Ltd as a result of an ICO investigation prompted by 6,381 complaints from the public.

Complainants described receiving recorded messages relating to personal protection insurance, packaged bank accounts and flight delays. Some even described calls being repeated, sometimes up to 50 per day to single households, even though they had followed instructions in the message to opt out of the calls.  

The company co-ordinated its nuisance call campaign from Eyebrow Cottage, a listed building in a Manchester suburb.

Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO said:

 

“The number of complaints in this case is just a drop in the ocean compared to the millions of calls we think this company has made. We have sent out a clear message to companies who behave in this way - however much you try and dodge the law, it won’t work, and we will act.”

 

This action was part of a wider investigation into a complicated network of companies which included an ICO raid on a call centrein south Manchester. At the height of the automated call campaign, two phone network providers claimed their services had been disrupted by the large number of calls being made by the business.

Earlier this year an ICO enforcement notice ordered Advanced VoIP to stop making nuisance calls or face legal action in a crackdown on the cottage industry behind the millions of automated calls. Investigators suspected the leads generated would have been used by the network of firms involved to make sizable profits.

The law on making automated calls playing recorded messages is stricter than on other marketing calls. Organisations can only make automated marketing calls to people who have specifically consented to receiving them.

 

Bruce & Butler are specialsts in data protection. If you require advice or want a confidential discussion around how you handle personal data and how we may be able to help you, please do hesitate to contact us on +44(0)114 3992641 or email matt@bruceandbutler.com

 

 

 

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