HC Deb 16 February 1999 vol 325 c669W
Dan Norris

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to regulate unsolicited direct marketing telephone calls to private individuals. [71069]

Mr. Wills

The Government have addressed this issue in the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) (Direct Marketing) Regulations 1998, which come into force on 1 May. The Regulations establish an "opt-out" scheme for individual subscribers (private individuals and sole traders in the UK, as well as partnerships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) who do not wish to receive unsolicited direct marketing calls. The Office of Telecommunications (OFTEL) is responsible for establishing the opt-out scheme. The Director General of Telecommunications has issued invitations to tender to run the scheme, and expects to award a contract at the end of March.