HMRC has agreed to delete five million voice records after breaching the GDPR by failing to gain explicit agreement from callers to keep their recordings.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said in a statement:
“Innovative digital services help make our lives easier but it must not be at the expense of people’s fundamental right to privacy”.
HMRC said in a statement:
“I have informed ICO that we have already started to delete all records where we do not hold explicit consent and will complete that work well before ICO’s 5 June 2019 deadline. These total around 5 million customers who enrolled in the Voice ID service before October 2018 and have not called us or used the service since to reconfirm their consent.”
The Voice ID project is continuing and the ICO has confirmed that no fine will be issued to HMRC as long as the records are deleted.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, has been fined £5,000 by the Information Commissioner for making over 35,000 nuisance phone calls.
Lammy had made 35,629 recorded calls as part of his campaign to become the Labour candidate for London Mayor. Lammy authorised calls to be made in August 2015 to Labour Party members but he didn’t perform the required checks on whether the party had permission from members to receive calls.
Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, said:
“The rules apply to political groups canvassing for votes in the same way they apply to salespeople offering a discount on double glazing. If you want to call someone in this way, you must follow these rules. Mr Lammy did not, and that is why he has been fined.
It’s not good enough to assume the people you’re contacting probably won’t mind. The law requires you to have permission before making calls with recorded messages. And if the law isn’t followed, the regulator will act”.
“Mr Lammy’s team should have known there were special controls in place around calls with recorded messages. Not only have we published detailed guidance on political campaigning on our website, but we have contacted political parties directly to remind them of the rules”.
Momentum, a group set up to support of the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, is to be investigated by the Information Commissioner following complaints.
Momentum describes itself on its web-site as “Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader has transformed into Momentum – a network of people and organisations that will continue the energy and enthusiasm of Jeremy’s campaign”.
The allegations are thought to revolve around the use of data which was collected in the 2015 Labour leadership campaign which has now been kept. Momentum have denied the allegations and have said that they will assist with any investigation.