The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched an investigation into claims that charities are breaking data protection laws by trading lists of contact details of generous donors.

Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, stated that call centres are using hard-sell marketing tactics to pressurise people into making donations. He also warned that charities could still be breaking the law even if the targeted people have given their consent.

This follows an undercover news investigation which reported that charities targeted vulnerable individuals and contacted people even where they had registered with the Telephone Preference Service.

Mr Graham was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4's Today programme and stated that "The question of interest for us is, are charities trading in lists of generous people and are charities taking advantage of people’s generosity or indeed just taking advantage of people full-stop…We will be asking the question where did these names come from? … This is a boiler room operation, this is cold calling and again we need to get through the facts.”

For further information from the ICO, please click here.