ICO Welcomes New Powers in Direct Marketing Privacy Breach Regulations

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has welcomed the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s announcement that amendments to The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, scheduled for 25 May 2011, will give the ICO the power to impose monetary penalties of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of direct marketing provisions. Additionally, the ICO will be empowered to require telecommunications companies to provide information to assist investigations into alleged breaches.

Importantly, the reforms also mean that telecommunications companies will be subject to mandatory breach notification requirements, and must “notify the ICO and their customers in certain circumstances when a personal data breach occurs”.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said that the ICO will issue guidance on the legislative changes.
ICO’s media release (20 April 2011)
(Source: ICO; legislation.gov.uk)