Direct Marketing Opt-out versus TV Licensing

The request was partially successful.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

S11 of the DPA allows individuals to opt out of being sent direct marketing. The BBC/TV Licensing sends vast quantities of marketing junk mail seeking to sell TV Licences. Please provide details of any policy or enforcement decisions that the ICO has made with respect to the BBC using junk mail and Direct Marketing to seek to sell people a TV Licence when it is continued after a s11 DPA notice has been issued by the individual to the BBC. Specifically has or will the ICO take enforcement against the BBC if they continue to send junk mail after a s11 DPA notice has been issued?

Yours faithfully,

Sue

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner’s Office

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FOI Undercover left an annotation ()

I was going to say that TV Licensing don't undertake direct marketing, as they're communicating for the purposes of their statutory functions. But a little research reveals to me that they do engage in a lot of direct marketing (e.g. http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/pr...). As there is no exemption to complying with a s11 notice, direct marketing directed to particular individuals would be a breach.

I guess TV Licensing might say "some of our communications are direct marketing, and some aren't" but they'd need to justify that stance.

Information Commissioner’s Office

9 January 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0661195

 

Dear Ms Pastry
 
Request for Information
 
Thank you for your correspondence which we received on 2 January, in which
you have made a request for information held by the Information
Commissioner's Office (ICO). 
 
You have asked us:
 
“Please provide details of any policy or enforcement decisions that the
ICO has made with respect to the BBC using junk mail and Direct Marketing
to seek to sell people a TV Licence when it is continued after a s11 DPA
notice has been issued by the individual to the BBC. Specifically has or
will the ICO take enforcement against the BBC if they continue to send
junk mail after a s11 DPA notice has been issued?”
 
Your request has been passed to the ICO’s Information Access Team, and is
being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000
under the reference number shown above. 
 
We will therefore respond to your request promptly, and no later than 1
February which is 20 working days from the day after we received your
request.
 
Should you wish to reply to this email please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that your reply is
added directly to your case.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
 

Danny Langley
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545784  F. 01625 524510  [1]ico.org.uk  [2]twitter.com/iconews
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Information Commissioner’s Office

17 January 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0661195

 

Dear Ms Pastry

Request for Information
 
Further to our acknowledgement of 9 January we can now respond to your
request for information, which we received on 2 January.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
 
Request
 
In your message you asked:
 
“Please provide details of any policy or enforcement decisions that the
ICO has made with respect to the BBC using junk mail and Direct Marketing
to seek to sell people a TV Licence when it is continued after a s11 DPA
notice has been issued by the individual to the BBC. Specifically has or
will the ICO take enforcement against the BBC if they continue to send
junk mail after a s11 DPA notice has been issued?”
 
Our response
 
I can confirm that we hold information relating data protection concerns
raised with us regarding the BBC and TV Licensing.
 
The number of completed concerns we hold information on relating to either
party where we have categorised the nature of the concern as involving
‘the right to prevent processing’ is three. Each case concluded with no
further action required of the data controller.
 
Further to this we hold information dating back to January 2014 regarding
one complaint brought to the ICO under the Privacy and Electronic
Communications Regulations (PECR) about electronic marketing where the
‘submitted about’ party was TV Licensing. This was closed because
insufficient information was provided by the complainant.
 
I can therefore confirm we hold no information regarding any specific
enforcement or policy decisions made with respect to the BBC or TV
Licensing and the right to prevent processing under section 11 of the DPA.
 
Right to prevent processing
 
Data subjects who have applied their rights to prevent processing under
sections 10, 11 or 12 of the DPA are entitled to ask the ICO for an
assessment of whether or not the relevant data controller is likely to
have complied with the Act.
 
If we think the organisation has not complied with its obligations we can
give the organisation advice and ask it to solve the problem. We can also
take regulatory action if the organisation’s overall compliance with the
DPA deems this to be appropriate.
 
If you would like to report such a concern to the ICO, please do so via
[1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/handling/y.
 
Review Procedure
 
I hope this provides you with the information you require. However, if you
are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of our
decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled you
should write to the Information Access Team at the address below or e-mail
[2][ICO request email]. Your request for internal review
should be submitted to us within 40 working days of receipt by you of this
response.  Any such request received after this time will only be
considered at the discretion of the Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation. To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team at the address given or visit our website if
you wish to make a complaint under the Freedom of Information Act.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website.
[3]here.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 

Danny Langley
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545784  F. 01625 524510  [4]ico.org.uk  [5]twitter.com/iconews
Please consider the environment before printing this email

 
 
 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
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