The Information Commissioner’s Office has come good on its pledge to start removing inactive and invalid numbers from the Telephone Preference Service, after revealing that nearly 3 million numbers have already been deleted.
According to the latest figures to the end of September, the total number of TPS registrations on both landlines and mobiles has been reduced from 23.6 million, around 20.4 million, although the work is ongoing.
It is thought to be the first time that the TPS file has actually been cleaned, although industry insiders claim there is still a long way to go, with estimates that up to 40% of numbers on the file could be still be inactive.
The ICO confirmed in February that it would start the clean-up in an effort to make the file as accurate as possible.
The move was first revealed by Decision Marketing in December last year, following a Freedom of Information request as part of our “Call for Action on the TPS” campaign, which gathered a dossier of evidence of potential flaws in the system.
The DMA, which runs the scheme on licence, had originally claimed that removing inactive numbers would be “counter-productive”, even though people who take over the numbers would find themselves inadvertently registered on the TPS.
When the news of the overhaul emerged, however, DMA director of compliance and legal John Mitchison admitted that the telephonic world the “TPS was originally created for has changed dramatically and we’ve long wanted to implement some changes to the way TPS is run”.
He added: “We’re excited to be undertaking these with the support of the ICO. Accurately identifying numbers that are not in use and removing these from the TPS will ensure that the data it holds is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.”
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