The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said that the Liberal Democrat Party has fallen foul of online privacy laws, following an investigation into its use of automated phone calls to gather support.
The privacy watchdog explained that, during the past week, a large number of recorded message phone calls from party leader Nick Clegg had been made to encourage support for the Liberal Democrats.
These calls constituted direct marketing and were in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, according to the ICO.
The ICO added that it had received complaints from individuals who said that the calls were unsolicited. Regulations prohibit the use of automated unsolicited direct marketing calls to any individual who has not previously given their consent.
David Smith, Deputy Information Commissioner, said: "Many people find unsolicited automated calls particularly intrusive and annoying so it is important that any organisation making such calls ensures that individuals have given their consent before they are targeted."
Having received an enforcement notice from the ICO, the Liberal Democrats have 30 days to stop making the calls.
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