The Information Commissioner’s Office is ratcheting up its battle against so-called nuisance calls, with 177 cases now under investigation and 25 third-party information notices issued, with the first signs that the regulator’s action is starting to pay off.
The extent of its workload has been revealed in the ICO’s latest update, which also shows that there has been a significant year-on-year fall in complaints.
In total, there were 9,689 concerns reported to the ICO last month, lower than the number reported in May, June, July and August 2017, and way down on than the 14,701 concerns reported in November 2016.
The regulator points to successful investigations and enforcement action as a key reason for the drop in breaches.
Meanwhile call blocking and SMS spam technology are also playing a part in reducing the impact of unsolicited marketing, the ICO claims, citing its own analysis which shows an increase in complaints about calls that have been intercepted by call blockers.
The Claims Management Regulator and Ofcom have also carried out further regulatory action.
The move comes as EDF Energy has become the latest high profile brand to be placed on the regulator’s “watch list”, with 12 other businesses, while the watchdog has raided two addresses in Nottingham as part of an investigation into a network suspected of making hundreds of millions of nuisance calls.
Computer equipment and documents were seized for analysis and the ICO’s enquiries into alleged breaches of the laws surrounding unsolicited telephone marketing continues.
Commenting on the Nottingham raids, ICO enforcement group manager Andy Curry said: “People are sick and tired of receiving nuisance calls. The evidence we had already gathered prior to these warrants suggests this network, operating both in the UK and overseas, is responsible for making hundreds of millions of them.
“We hope the material we have now recovered will help identify other organisations and individuals in a lengthy and complex investigation, and assist the ICO and our partners in taking enforcement action. It will have the added effect of disrupting these people’s activities, which cause so much annoyance and distress to the UK public.”
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