Government plans to amend PECR in order to fight nuisance calls

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) proposes that direct marketing callers will be required to provide valid Calling Line Identification (CLI) in order to make it easier for individuals to report unwanted marketing calls. The requirement would also make it easier for the Information Commissioner to investigate and take enforcement action on unwanted calls.

The government proposes to amend the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) via secondary legislation. The amendment would require that callers making (or instigating) direct marketing calls do not withhold CLI. The requirement would apply to all individuals and organisations making calls for the purposes of direct marketing whether they are live or automated calls.

The government says that the change would have a minimal impact on legitimate marketing organisations. Since January 2012, the ICO has issued fines totalling £2,412,000 for serious contraventions of PECR.

The DCMS plans to introduce an amendment to PECR this spring, and is currently consulting stakeholders. The consultation is open until 23 February.