Why is the Information Commissioner taking an interest in the Direct Marketing Sector?

Our company has received a letter from the ICO asking some a large number of detailed questions about the data we buy and sell. This is a detailed probe into the Direct Marketing sector and it’s one that this company welcomes.

We have seen that since the inception of the internet an increasing people and companies have been able to trade data on the internet with ease. As a business we a daily getting emails from companies and phone calls offing data for sale. Nearly all of these contravene the data protection act and some are blatantly stolen. It’s interesting the reaction from the callers when we ask them a few simple questions from “I don’t know XYZ” to “I don’t care do you want to buy this or not”. It is clear however they do find a number of people who will buy their data and then find they have bought information that’s out of date and they cannot use in law.

To avoid getting caught here are some simple question to ask anyone selling marketing data to you.

  1. Where did you get the data from?
  2. What is the List Warrant registration number? (this is the killer question)
  3. Do you have provable Opt-Ins? Show me!
  4. Are you with the ICO and your ICO number?
  5. Why are you selling this

Marketing data is one of those purchase you don’t know what you have purchased until you start to use it and find the true state is very different. When it arrives it all looks fine until you start to use it and find the addresses are no good, the phone numbers are on the Do not call list (TPS) and you have mailed some deceased people. Always go to a reputable company and ask them the above questions as a starter