The ICO has issued an enforcement notice to Unit the Union, for making 57,000 unsolicited phone calls to people who had previously registered with the Telephone Preference Service (“TPS”). As such, marketing calls can only be made where the data subject has consented, and this seems to be at the heart of the issue.
Unite claimed that they were simply updating members on the “services and benefits available to them under their union membership via Unite’s membership helpline.” and that this was in line with their rule book.
However, the ICO has said that
- Members were given the opportunity to opt-out but not the option to opt-in, which is what PECR requires
- The calls did constitute direct marketing as the purpose was to encourage members to have a “free life insurance and protection review” from a third party whose business was to sell life insurance
The ICO has fined Unite the Union £45,000, although an appeal may be made.
If you offer services to members, you need to check if this may be an issue for you. You can see the full ICO ruling here and of course you can always contact us or book a free 20-minute insight call to talk it through in more detail.