Rogue companies that repeatedly breach regulations covering unsolicited fax and telephone communications face an imminent crackdown by the British Data Protection Commissioner.

Two companies, Second Telecom and Top 20, have just been served with enforcement notices - the first since the regulations were imposed earlier this year. Both cases concern the sending of unsolicited faxes.

Says Commissioner Elizabeth France: "These companies have shown a blatant disregard for the new rules. While it is too soon to name other companies, I am looking at a number of other possible enforcement actions against this abuse of personal privacy."

The UK Direct Marketing Association now receives around 1,000 complaints a week concerning unsolicited marketing communications via fax and telephone – a far higher volume than originally anticipated.

Tessa Kelly, DMA director of compliance operations, attributes this partly to “some companies who took time to get their lists cleaned and others that have just made a mistake”. However, she also points to “an element of companies who are blatantly not abiding by the regulations. I would expect to see a reduction in these cases following the action taken by the DPC".

News source: Precision Marketing (UK)