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Amendments to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

Amendments to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

 

 Amendments have been made to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 which regulate specific areas of the communications sector of the UK, most specifically data protection and privacy. This amendment allows for the functions of the registers that are required to be kept under regulations 25 and 26 to be transferred from OFCOM to the Information Commissioner.

 In 2003 regulations were made concerning how and when personal data could be processed, and to protect the Privacy of electronic communications. Five directives formed the original European Electronic Communications Framework, which was implemented within the U.K by two more specific acts alongside the 2003 regulations: the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 and the Communications Act 2003.

 The 2003 Regulations have been amended five times previously: 2004 (permitting corporate subscribers to register with the Telephone Preference Service), 2010 (to replace the relevant tribunals under the new first and upper tier tribunals), 2011 (to implement European legislative changes and to amend the directive on universal service and user’s rights), 2015 (to permit mobile networks to send alert messages to people who may be affected by an emergency when requested by a designated public body) and 2016 (requiring direct marketing callers to provide a Calling Line Identification).

 

 Changes include:

Regulations 20 and 21, the circumstances in which unsolicited marketing communications may be transmitted.

Regulations 25 and 26, requirements for OFCOM: to keep registers of those who have elected to “opt-out” of receiving unsolicited marketing communications, to provide information from the register to fee-paying persons for marketing purposes, to require different fees depending on the information sought, to contract-out the aforementioned requirements with the exception of determining the fees to be paid.

 

The amendment also transfers the responsibility for the above requirements from OFCOM to the Information Commissioner.

This amendment applies only to the UK.

  

Legislation: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/1177/contents/made

 Explanatory Memorandum: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/1177/memorandum/contents