As readers will know I have been campaigning on the scourge of unwanted telephone calls for some time. These nuisance phone calls are a modern day menace and after increasing the potential fines which can be imposed the government has now gone further and is to introduce a requirement that direct marketing companies provide their Calling Line Identification. It will not come into force until next month but it is another step which hopefully improve matters. I have sent out below the written statement which was issued in full.
On 12 January 2016, the Government published a consultation seeking views on a proposal to amend the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (the 2003 Regulations) to make it a requirement for direct marketing callers to provide Calling Line Identification (CLI). This followed a commitment by the Government to impose such a requirement, subject to consultation, during the passage of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, and forms part of the Government’s strategy to tackle the problem of nuisance calls and to protect the vulnerable and elderly in society who are most impacted by this issue.
I am today publishing the Government’s response to the consultation, a copy of which will be placed in the libraries of both Houses. The overwhelming majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of the proposal and agreed that it would improve consumer choice and would make it easier for the regulator to take enforcement action against those who breach the rules. The consultation can also be found here.
I am therefore also laying before Parliament a statutory instrument amending the 2003 Regulations so as to implement the proposal. The requirement to provide CLI will come into force on 16 May 2016.
The Government is clear that there is no silver bullet to the problem of nuisance calls, but we are committed to working closely with regulators, industry, consumer groups and others to raise awareness and develop practical solutions to this complex issue.