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Direct Mail: Prosecutions

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many successful prosecutions the Information Commissioner made against direct mailers in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (137280)

I have been asked to reply.

The Information Commissioner has not made any prosecutions against direct mailers in any of the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what powers the Information Commissioner has to curb irresponsible direct mailers; and if he will make a statement. (137281)

I have been asked to reply.

The Information Commissioner has regulatory powers to bring about compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. In serious cases involving direct mailing, the Commissioner has the power to issue an enforcement notice requiring an organisation or individual to take specified action to comply with the Act. Failure to comply with such a notice is a criminal offence.

The Commissioner also has the ability to seek an enforcement order under the Enterprise Act 2002 in cases to require an organisation to cease conduct, which is harmful to consumers.