The Information Commissioner’s Office is stepping up its fight against nuisance calls and texts coming from overseas by signing a deal with 10 other enforcement authorities across the world to share intelligence and work together to fight rogue firms.
In the past year the ICO has issued £2.3m of fines, targeting UK companies responsible for more than 72 million nuisance calls and almost 2 million spam text messages yet the problem is a global one. But, so far, the ICO has been virtually powerless against the overseas firms targeting consumers in this country.
The signatories of the so-called memorandum of understanding (MoU) are all members of the London Action Plan (LAP) group, which promotes cross-border intelligence-sharing and co-operation on spam, scams and unsolicited messaging.
Along with the ICO, the other signatories are: ACM (the Netherlands), the ACMA (Australia), CRTC and OPC (Canada), FTC and FCC (US), NTSIT (UK) and KISA (Korea), Department of Internal Affairs (New Zealand) and National Consumer Commission (South Africa).
ICO head of enforcement Stephen Eckersley said: “Unlawful marketing calls and messages cause genuine fear, anxiety and frustration to citizens across the globe. It is a global problem that does not respect borders, requiring a global effort to tackle it.
“This MoU means that authorities across the world, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, are now actively sharing intelligence. This will help us enforce the law and stop the scourge of nuisance calls and spam texts.”
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