AROUND 1000 COMPANIES who are known to be in the business of selling personal data will this week receive letters from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The move is part of a clampdown being undertaken by the privacy watchdog on the escalating issue of nuisance telephone calls.
Thousands of such calls are reported in Moray each year amongst the millions throughout Scotland – and the numbers have been steadily increasing to epidemic proportions. Most of the calls are unsolicited and the result of details being passed from company to company, with many appearing on lists that are sold for marketing purposes.
Now Moray’s MP Angus Robertson is welcoming the clampdown by the ICO in the wake of several large fines issued to companies who have been falling foul of the rules in recent months.
This week alone three fines have been issued by the ICO – two of which are to companies marketing ‘call-blocking’ systems that are, ironically, aimed at reducing the impact such calls have on individual households.
Mr Robertson said: “I am delighted to see a tougher stance being taken on the blight of nuisance calls.
“The Information Commissioner appears to be serious about tackling not only the frontline offenders, but also the list brokers facilitating this shady practice. Nuisance calls can only be effectively tackled at Westminster.
“The SNP will continue to put pressure on the UK Government where needed, in the meantime I am glad to see the issue continuing to be taken seriously by the watchdog.
“Complaints about nuisance calls were up by 10% last year alone – the sheer scale of the intervention from the Commissioner’s Office is like nothing seen before, but it is an appropriate response to a problem that just continues to grow.”