From December 30, the Telephone Preference Service is moving from Ofcom to the Information Commissioner's Office.

The TPS is a free service that now covers both landline and mobile numbers and is designed to help prevent nuisance callers by blocking unsolicited sales and marketing calls.  Those carrying out marketing are required to check the TPS before dialling a number.

The reason for the move is to:

  • streamline complaints about unsolicited calls (so rather than both Ofcom and the ICO being involved, only one regulator will be in future)
  • make it easier for the ICO to enforce against those behind them
  • improve the recording and handling of complaints  

Whilst the ICO can already impose monetary penalty notices of up to £500,000 on companies involved, from Spring 2017, directors of those companies carrying out such activities could also find themselves personally liable for fines up to £500,000 for breaches of the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (of which compliance with TPS forms a part).