Update 26th February 2015:
We are delighted that the government has recently announced, in line with our campaign recommendations, additional powers for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). But more needs to be done.
As part of our campaign we recently commissioned Claire Milne MBE, visiting Senior Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, to carry out a comparative policy analysis of legal and regulatory approaches to nuisance calls in numerous countries around the world. To our knowledge it is the first of its kind.
Her report (PDF) demonstrates that the UK, despite some recent advances, still lags behind other countries in its approach to nuisance calls (download the Combatting nuisance calls appendix and texts PDF to find out more). However, the report presents policy makers with some practical options for how they can move us to where we need to be in terms of consumer protection and shows how more can be done regarding international co-operation.
Our response to this report (PDF) highlights which of these options would best protect financially vulnerable families bombarded with nuisance calls. They address critical holes in the UK regulatory environment.
- They switch the UK from an opt-out to an opt-in telephone preference service
- They further increase the powers of regulators to fine offenders and ensure fine levels are related to the seriousness of offences
- They increase the ability of the watchdog to identify wrongdoing
- They increase the security offered to consumers considering a high-risk product offered over the telephone.