Emerging Best Practice in Do Not Call Registers (8 September 2009)

4. Emerging Issues

Although Do Not Call Registers are considered to be a successful form of privacy protection for individuals, there are a number of emerging issues and concerns in the day-to-day operation of Do Not Call Registers. These include:

  • Avoidance
    Unfortunately a number of organisations have developed schemes and products to help telemarketers avoid compliance with Do Not Call registers. This has included the use of non-profit organisations as ‘fronts’ for telemarketing and the use of off-shore call centres. Some technical avoidance also occurs where companies hide their calling line identification to avoid enforcement action.
  • Exploitation
    Some organisations have seen the establishment of Do Not Call Registers as an opportunity to exploit consumers who may be confused about the operation of the registers. This has included simple phishing email and SMS scams in India where criminal organisations have pretended to be the operators of the register in order to obtain personal information. In other jurisdictions a number of services offer commercial do not contact schemes, which offer to have your details removed from a range of marketing lists for a fee. This is despite the presence of free services run by the Government that will be much more effective.
  • Exemptions
    There are a large number of exemptions in the rules of most Do Not Call Registers. Typical exemptions cover charities, market research organisations and political parties. There may be a requirement to reconsider these exemptions in the future, so that consumers can avoid particular types of calls.