In Ireland, the Data Protection Commission issued a statement on September 7 that begins:
The Data Protection Commission welcomed the outcome of prosecution proceedings that were taken yesterday morning in the Dublin Metropolitan District Court against two prominent telecommunications companies in relation to marketing offences under S.I. 336 of 2011 in the Dublin Metropolitan District Court.
Three Ireland (Hutchison) Limited pleaded guilty to two charges of sending unsolicited marketing emails to one customer earlier this year who had not consented to his email address being used by the company for marketing purposes.
Read more on the DPC’s web site.
In the U.K., the Information Commissioner’s Office issued a statement on September 5 that it was fining a Glasgow company for making half a million nuisance calls:
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Glasgow-based company DialADeal Scotland Ltd (DDSL) for making more than half a million nuisance marketing calls.
The unsolicited calls were about non-existent Green Deal energy saving schemes including boiler and window replacement, loft insulation and home improvement grants.
These were made to telephone numbers which had been registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) where people had not given their permission to receive them – this is against the law.
Read more on the ICO’s web site.
In the U.S., the FTC can enforce the Do Not Call Registry. So far there have been more than 150 enforcement actions since the law went into effect almost two decades ago. You can see a list of some of the recent settlement actions here. Clearly, that is a drop in the bucket considering how many unsolicited and nonconsensual phone calls, messages, and faxes we all get. Some of the explanation is that the Do Not Call law permits a lot of calls that you might not want to receive. The FTC summarizes it this way:
Because of the limits to FTC’s authority, the Registry does not apply to political calls or calls from non-profits and charities (but the Registry does cover telemarketers calling on behalf of charities). Also, calls from legitimate “survey” organizations are not covered because they are not offering to sell anything to consumers. Finally, calls are permitted from companies with which you have done or sought to do business. Specifically, a company can call you up to 18 months after you last did business with it.