DMA calls for company directors to face prison over illegal nuisance calls

The Direct Marketing Association is calling for prison sentences to be meted out to company directors who repeatedly breach data protection laws by making illegal nuisance calls.

DMA calls for company directors to face prison over illegal nuisance calls

Chris Combemale, the DMA Group chief executive, called on the secretary of state for justice, Liz Truss, to use powers that were brought in by the government in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

From spring 2017, the Information Commissioner’s Office will be able to hold rogue directors personally responsible for breaches under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. Company directors will be liable for fines of up to £500,000 each.

However, according to figures from Which? published earlier this year, the ICO has collected four out of 22 fines in full that it has issued over the past 12 months.

The DMA said the government should now go one step further and bring in custodial sentences for the worst breaches of data protection law. 

It requires a vote in both houses of parliament to allow custodial sentences for breaches of Section 55 of the Data Protection Act.

Combemale said: "It should come as no surprise that individuals willing to skirt the law when it suits them are also ready to do the same to avoid paying their debts.

"That’s why the powers of the ICO have recently been extended to also allow it to fine the directors that set up multiple companies to avoid justice.

"We wholeheartedly support the extension of fines to the individuals that are behind the rogue businesses, but for the worst and repeat offenders we believe the penalties should extend to custodial sentences as well."

Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).