back to article ICO orders LibDems to stop bothering voters

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned the Liberal Democrats to stop using automated phone calls or face possible prosecution. Last week the party made around 250,000 calls that featured a recorded message from LibDems leader Nick Clegg to UK households across the country. The UK's data watchdog found (pdf) …


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  1. Paul Hurst

    Choice of words

    "The SNP had its knuckles rapped by the ICO three years ago for making automated marketing calls to Scottish households without gaining prior consent. Ironically, the LibDems had been among the voices of dissent against the SNP’s unsolicited automated calls."

    I'm going swap the word 'ironically' with 'predictably'

  2. Adrian Jones

    Lib Dems?

    You'd think they have few enough people voting for them without pissing them off like this.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    30 days?

    So they can carry on pissing people off for another 30 days? That's another 4 weeks so that's approx another 1 million phone calls they can make.

    Surely they should be made to stop right now. If I see my LD councillor in the next couple of weeks and I've had one of these cold calls I'll let him know just how I feel

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What marketing dickhead.....

    ...thought " I know, I'll interupt peoples evening by playing a message down the phone, in order to make us popular. I'm sure they'll love this idea, I know I do, it's sooo kool"

    Hopefully the credit crunch will cause a few to jump......

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When it's the LibDems breaching privacy...

    ... they get stamped on in seconds.

    Can we get the same treatment for other politicians eroding our right to privacy please?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let them do it...

    If there's one thing that would put most people off voting for a party is an automated call. The LibDems will soon learn as their voter population turns away (after all, 250,000 has to be around 90%)

  7. Anonymous Coward


    How typical of the toothless ICO trying to look tough: coming down on an easy organisation (such as a political party that cannot fight back or ignore them without a PR disaster) over a relatively minor matter, while big companies like the credit reference agencies amass wads of data on almost everyone in the country without fearing the slightest rebuke.

  8. Christoph Silver badge

    Good idea

    They know that this infuriates people because they've complained about it themselves.

    So they are obviously trying to prove that they are fit for power, as they are just as contemptuous of the people they claim to represent as either of the Tory parties are.

    Vote sanely, vote Loony!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bigger story is

    The ICO did something today, though not much.

  10. Richard
    Paris Hilton


    sold them this data in the first place??? They should have ensured that this data wasn't going to be used for marketing purposes.....

    Paris? - well, she doesnt have a clue either...

  11. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Wow ICO wakes

    Perhaps if the LD's installed some data interception hardware in BT exchanges , and monitered everyone's voting patterns via that, then that would'nt upset the ICO as much an spam phone calls

  12. Richard Kay

    bad taste and poor judgement

    As a Lib Dem member I'm pretty disgusted. I'd also be surprised if this was decided at a high level. If it was whoever authorised it isn't getting my vote in any future leadership/presidential/candidates election until they have apologised and made suitable amends, as this seems to me to demonstrate a lack of judgement and bad taste.

  13. Ian Chard

    Why do they ALWAYS do this?!

    As a Lib Dem supporter by default (cos let's face it, what choice do I have), it's SO ANNOYING when they do something this fucking stupid! It's almost as if they've been infiltrated by LabTory staff... oh, hang on a minute, there are five burly men at my front door...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Probably bought the publicly available electoral roll - it's sold for marketing purposes after all and, in any case, it's the responsibility of the purchaser not to use it for DM purposes. Being a nationally recognised party, they have access to the entire roll - how do you think they know who lives where?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money better spent

    hiring a bunch of topless models and painting the Liberal decals across their chests.

    Automated phoning will just lose you votes, I would check that the marketing guy involved wasn't for another party.

    The Liberals have to do something I suppose, but aren't they now party number 5 behind the Greens and the BNP - if the Henley bi-election was anything to go by.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I remember Labour doing this a couple of years ago. I got a snotty email from them when I asked them not to have their robots call me a second time.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy pickings

    Is this the ICO trying to convince rightly sceptical people that it can take action? It should have taken action against BT but lacked the testicular fortitude to do so. We all know the ICO is gutless. This merely confirms it.

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