Most of us are very much aware of the services provided by the Telephone Preference Service, which allows individuals to register their wish not to receive unwanted sales and marketing calls; however a new Mobile Preference Service is expected to be created later this year in attempts to end text message marketing to those who have opted out of fundraising or marketing contact. The new Mobile Preference Services will make it a legal requirement that companies do not make unwanted marketing and fundraising texts or calls.

Over the years, more than 15 million individuals have registered landline numbers with the Telephone Preference Service and there are now also more than a million registered mobile phone numbers. The large number of mobile number registrations has prompted the decision by the Telephone Preference Service to launch a separate new register specifically designed for mobile phone numbers. The intention is to prevent companies and charities sending text message marketing to individuals already registered with the TPS. Although registering your mobile number with the current Telephone Preference Service reduces the number of marketing voice calls an individual might receive, it does not prevent text messaging.

While normally individuals would require to consent to receiving direct marketing text messages, the proposed separate register would enable charities etc who use SMS for marketing and fundraising to comply more fully with the privacy legislation by accessing which numbers messages should never be sent to. Previously, to complete the same task, it was necessary to go through a single register and separate landlines from mobile numbers; a particularly lengthy procedure.

It is hoped that the new 'two register' arrangement will not only give charities and fundraisers easier access to, and knowledge of, registered TPS numbers, but also hopefully improve general efficiency in the system as a whole.

MacRoberts offer comprehensive advice on all privacy issues. For more information, please contact us.

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