Your Money Rights Limited was found guilty of breaching data protection principles by reportedly making a record 146 million nuisance calls pushing people to make PPI claims.
Based in Carmarthenshire, the company statistically made enough calls to contact every woman, man and child in the U.K. twice over.
Anyone reading this has probably experienced at least half a dozen in the past year. Recipients were less than amused by the numerous calls and complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office over the unsolicited calls, saying the recorded messages made them feel “harassed and threatened”.
About the nuisance calls
Your Money Rights Limited had no right to make these unwarranted and repeated calls to millions of people. Under the Privacy Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR), a person or organisation can only send recorded messages for the purposes of direct marketing if they have received consent to do so. Your Money Rights Limited could not prove they had obtained consent from the people they contacted.
The ICO received 255 complaints about Your Money Rights Limited’s calls over five months back in 2016. The recorded message outline the possibility of claiming compensation for PPI and provides the recipient with a choice of speaking to an adviser or to stop receiving these calls.
Your Money Rights Limited reportedly never introduces themselves as responsible for the calls, and during the five month period, the ICO found that Your Money Rights Limited was responsible for making 146,020,773 illegal calls.
Penalty fine issued
The U.K. data protection watchdog issued Your Money Rights Limited a penalty fine of £350,000. Head of Enforcement, Steve Eckersley, said;
“We’re cracking down on illegal automated calls on behalf of the British public. They are a blight on society that disregards people’s right to have their wish for peace and quiet in their own homes respected.”
Eckersley recognises the frustration and annoyance of being bombarded with recorded messages. Many are particularly intrusive, especially where the recipient isn’t able to speak to a call agent and ask questions or request to be taken off their call list.
Directors of Your Money Rights Limited trying to dissolve the company
After the ICO concluded their investigations and issued the fine to Your Money Rights Limited, the company’s directors have sought to dissolve the company. However, the ICO is “committed to recovering the fine” and will work alongside the insolvency authorities to extract the penalty issued.
New data protection laws coming in to force in May 2018 will provide the ICO with more powers to enforce data protection rules and stronger sanctions to punish and deter companies who violate them. The General Data Protection Regulation will give the ICO the power to fine company directors themselves for breaching people’s privacy like this. This means directors who make the decisions to send out thousands or millions of nuisance calls can be personally held liable, rather than hiding behind the company.
“If a firm goes out of business to try and duck an ICO fine then they’re no longer making troublesome nuisance calls,” said Eckersley. “But the new law will increase the tools we have to go after them and hold them fully accountable for the harassment, annoyance and disruption they’ve caused.”
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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