The Information Commissioner’s Office
The Growing Importance of the ICO for UK call centres
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) is an independent authority that has been set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
The Information Commissioner’s Office deals with many complaints from members of the public, many of whom are concerned about their information rights. The ICO works inline with both the Data Protection Act and also the Freedom of Information Act. The Data Protection Act covers how personal information is handled and processed, whilst the Freedom of Information Act covers the disclosure of any information held by public authorities.
The main role of the Information Commissioners office is to take the necessary action to ensure that organisations meet their information rights obligations. The ICO acts on eligible complaints, provides guidance to individuals and organisations and also takes the appropriate action when the law is broken. Where necessary the ICO can serve enforcement notices and ‘stop now’ orders. This course of action is usually taken when there has been a breach. The organisation in question then has to take (or refrain from taking) the specified steps to ensure that they are in compliance with the law.
The ICO has the power to issue monetary penalty notices, enforcement notices, formal decision notices and also criminal prosecutions.
Most if not all call centres work from data which consists of public information. Call centres need to ensure that they are compliant with legislations such as the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) in order to avoid a breach. The TPS is a register which gives both businesses and the general public the option to opt out of unwanted sales and marketing calls. If an organisation fails to be compliant with this legislation then they may face customer complaints and result in many customer complaints and if taken to the ICO then penalties.
We offer a service here at Nexbridge, TPS Compliant. This service has been designed to screen data prior to call centre agents making any outbound calls. TPS Compliant with Nexbridge can guarantee that all phone calls made by your organisation will not reach a customer that is registered with the TPS or the CPTS (Corporate Telephone Preference Service). TPS Compliant is updated on a daily basis to ensure that the organisation using the service is 100% complaint on the calls make through our network.
For many organisations, large call centres in particular, avoiding penalties from the Information Commissioner’s office is of utmost importance. The general public are becoming increasingly aware of the new legislations that have been set up to protect their personal information. For many organisations who are making outbound calls on a daily basis this can become somewhat of a hindrance and a risk if the data they are using is not being screened.
UK call centres can easily avoid hefty fines and complaints from the ICO by taking the necessary steps to ensure that they are compliant when making their outbound calls from the data that is being used.