Culture Media and Sport
Simon Hart (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will take steps to stop unsolicited marketing calls to individuals who may have been involved in a traffic accident.
Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative)
Registering with the Telephone Preference Scheme (TPS) protects individuals from unsolicited marketing calls. The free service is provided for under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR). Companies making unsolicited marketing calls are legally required not to call a number that is registered with the TPS and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) can issue a fine of up to £500,000 for the most serious breaches of the regulations. The PECR also prohibits businesses from marketing to individuals via text message, unless prior consent has been obtained.
In addition, there are rules in place through the Claims Management Regulator (CMR), which is overseen by the Ministry of Justice. The CMR can take action, including suspending or cancelling a claims management company's licence, if they breach the regulations or the conduct rules. Also, the CMR is part of a cross industry working group, set up to tackle the use of unsolicited calls and text messages, which seek to generate claims. Members of the group include telecoms providers, the ICO, the Direct Marketing Association and Ofcom. The group shares information and works together to enforce the respective rules and regulations.