If you think this number has harassed you and you want to take legal action against the caller, you can report the case to the authorities or find yourself a lawyer. But before you take this action, make sure that you have enough information about the call, e.g. the name of the caller, the company name, the exact time of the call, etc. It’s also important that you know which rights you have and which laws the caller have violated. This can make your argument stronger. Therefore, we have collected the most important laws about your rights for data protection on this page.
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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) & The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)
The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data. GDPR forms part of the data protection regime in the UK, together with the new Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and replaces the DPA 1998. It still has the purpose of personal data protection and the need of consent for the use of personal data, but the new laws also expanded the definition of user’s personal data and especially the definition of a consent. Consent must be an active, affirmative action by the data subject, rather than the passive acceptance under some current models that allow for pre-ticked boxes or opt-outs. Companies must keep a record of how and when an individual gave consent, and that individual may withdraw their consent whenever they want.
Privacy Electronic Communication Regulations 2003 (PECR)
In short the EC Directive renders the transmission of recorded messages for marketing purposes without the receiver’s consent unlawful. Not only does the EC Directive include phone calls but also contains email and SMS messages. After the enforcement of GDPR in May 2018, there has been a change in the definition of a consent. Further information can be found here.
Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
In order to uphold the consumer rights and data protection the office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) was created and carries out this responsibility across the UK. The ICO is charged with the enforcement of the regulations provided by DPA and EC Directive and employs a number of tools to tackle misuse of personal data. The tools range from criminal prosecution to audit and can serve a monetary penalty. The highest penalty levied thus far on a single company accounted for £ 300 000.
In addition, the ICO and branches of the mobile phone industry work together in an attempt to identify nuisance caller and spam SMS senders. With respect to the DPA, marketing calls and SMS messages are obliged to comply with the individual’s consent to receive such marketing measures. Furthermore, even if you receive calls or texts, both of them are legally bound to provide the opportunity to opt out from additional messages. As far as SMS messages are concerned sent „STOP“ to the sender. If these calls and SMS messages do not stop, they breach regulation formulated in the DPA and EC Directive. Your are strongly advised to consult the ICO.
Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a register which enables the individual to opt out from nuisance calls. Companies are legally obliged to respect registered numbers and to not call them. After an individual registers with the TPS for free it takes up to 28 days until becomes effective. Although reputable companies comply with the TPS, spam and scam calls – often from abroad and disguised as a local number via spoofing - are on the rise and hard to counter since the ICO's and TPS' authority is restricted to the UK only. If you experience ongoing nuisance calls you also can file a complaint with the TPS. In terms of SMS spam you are advised to forward the spam message to your provider using following numbers:
|Orange, O2 and T-Mobile:||Forward the SMS to 7726|
|Vodafone:||Forward the SMS to 7726 or 87726|
|Three:||Forward the SMS to 7726 or 37726|