News & Views from MyExpensesOnline

Keep Your PECR Up! Data Protection in Telephone Marketing


One of our recent blogs, titled “To Email or Not to Email? – Under New Data Protection Laws”, looked into the PECR and how they affect email marketing, but there are also provisions to cover telephone marketing.

 

So, to review, what are the PECR?

 

PECR are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which are derived from European law, and complement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

The purpose of the these regulation is to set out more-specific privacy rights on electronic communications, recognising the new risks to individuals’ privacy, with more widespread access to digital mobile networks and the internet.

 

In time, the EU will replace the e-privacy Directive with a new e-privacy Regulation, modernised to work alongside the GDPR. However, the new Regulation is not yet agreed and for the time being, PECR continues to apply alongside the GDPR.

 

The PECR provide more specific rules on:

 

·         Marketing calls, emails, texts and faxes

·         Cookies (and similar technologies)

·         Keeping communications services secure

·         Customer privacy as regards traffic and location data, itemised billing, line identification, and directory listings

 

Therefore, if your activities include any of the above, then the PECR affect you.

 

How do the PECR affect telephone marketing?

 

Essentially, there are two rules;

 

1.       You cannot call anyone who has instructed you not to call

2.       You cannot makes calls to any number which is registered with the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) or CTPS (Corporate Telephone Preference Service), unless consent has been given.

 

When calls are made, you must be clear about who is calling.

You are able to call any individual who has consented to received marketing calls (consent must be clear, and an opt-in), or in the absence of consent, as long as that person has not objected to calls, or has not registered with the TPS or CTPS.

In most cases, sole traders may be registered with the TPS, whereas companies and government bodies register with the CTPS. When telephone marketing, you will need to screen against both lists, as well as keeping an in-house record of “do not call” numbers.