Exactly who or what is the Data protection Act designed to protect? It is certainly not the ordinary man in the street, with not only the ever increasing number of marketing companies trading our details but even Government departments and Local Authorities selling on information about us. Surely it is time for opt out clauses to be removed and replaced by an opt in option. We are told time and time again to be vigilant with the security of our personal information whilst departments like the DVLA are free to pass on our details to unscrupulous companies. I personally try very hard to protect my details, I am registered with both the Mailing Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service and whilst I have no problems with the TPS when it comes to the MPS there appear to be no guarantees. Credit Reference Agencies hold vast amounts of information about everybody and boast how they can track unsuspecting recipients of marketing paraphernalia from cradle to grave! I don't know if these companies require a licence but it would seem to me to be a conflict of interest when you have businesses who on the one hand sell Card and Identity insurance and on the other hand sell mailing lists to numerous companies. I always follow up unsolicited mail in order to identify the source from which my details have been obtained and have on a number of occasions had companies try to fob me of with the fact that my information came from the Electoral Roll. As I am on the edited version this cannot be correct. I have found you have to be more than just determined to track down individuals within marketing departments in order to request removal of your details. I consider this practice to be an infringement of my privicy and feel it is time for change. Incidentally. as with all quangos and supposed regulators, the Information Commision has very little power to impose any punishment other than a very mild slap on the wrist on Companies who breach the Data Protection Act.
I agree with you 100% on all you say. I changed my electricity supplier by phone to Southern electric and received a contract claiming I had agreed to be put on their mailing list despite the fact I was never asked if I wanted to be put on it. When I wrote to them asking if they could claim I had agreed to something simply by not bothering to ask me then when would they be sending me the £1000000 they had agreed to send me. Despite being ex directory I keep getting phone calls asking me to take part in surveys and a company claiming they can help me with my credit card debt despite the fact I have never had a credit card in my life and like yourself I am on the edited register and only give my mobile number on any and all forms I fill out.
I am somewhat puzzled that only one person has expressed an opinion on the trading of our personal details without our explicit permission other than possibly omitting to tick a box that is often not immediately apparent when making a purchase or not being asked the appropriate question when purchasing by phone. Since my previous posting I have received an unsolicited piece of mail from Aviva Equity Release. I have contacted them to request the origins of my details and am currently awaiting this information that I requested on 30th March.
It doesn't puzzle me because like a lot of things people ignore the dangers until it is too late. They don't seem to consider that the more their details are passed around the more the chance of them falling into the wrong hands. Only when it blows up in their faces do they wish they had done something to protect themselves.
With regards to this, what I have is an email address I use for what I call junk requests ie insurance quotes etc along with a pay as you go mobile with about 20p credit so I can give a valid number (just never switch it on). The only issue is my address but I find that if I get any mail shots, by filling the reply paid envelopes with other rubbish through the maul and sending it back along with their original missive, before long that company gives up AND the icing on the cake is it has cost them twice plus kept a postie working....
There is a company called TPS who you can register your phone number with which is supposed to stop cold calls. They are a reputable company and it is free of charge but I question how well it can work when you consider they can't stop surveys and anyone who rings you outside of the UK.
I don't know what you two think but I don't remember people accosting you in the street being as bad even a few years ago as it is now and I'm not talking about people begging although it amounts to the same it is just they are begging for your time.
I'm lucky in the sense that when I speak to people they can tell from my accent that I'm from Liverpool and so when they try to sell me anything or ask me to take part in a survey I either tell them I'm not from around here or I have got to go and catch my train back to Liverpool it as never failed yet.
It seems you can't escape them if you stay in or go out.