The Government has announced that it will make it easier for the Information Commissioner (ICO) to impose financial penalties of up to £500,000 on companies making unwanted marketing calls and texts. Currently, the ICO can only issue monetary penalties of up to £500,000, if it is able to prove that marketing calls and texts sent by a company caused, or had the potential to cause, “substantial damage or substantial distress”. The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, bringing this change into effect, were published on February 24, 2015 and come into force on April 6, 2015. The Regulations now require that, for a monetary penalty to be imposed, the ICO must show that there has been a serious contravention of the requirements of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and that (i) the contravention was deliberate; or (ii) the person knew or ought to have known that there was a risk that the contravention would occur but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the contravention.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport Press Release