Wednesday, 13 May 2020 12:06

Phone directory publisher cops warning from ACMA over ‘silent’ phone number publication

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Phone directory publisher and digital marketer Localsearch Operations has been issued with a formal warning by Australia’s telecommunications regulator ACMA over its publication of an unlisted ‘silent’ number in one of its phone directories.

The formal warning issued on Wednesday follows an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation which found that Localsearch breached the conditions of its use of the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) under the Telecommunications Integrated Public Number Database Scheme 2017.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said companies must take appropriate care and ensure that they have robust processes to meet all their obligations under the IPND access rules.

“ACMA takes compliance with IPND access obligations very seriously, especially where a consumer’s privacy is impacted.

“Only listed numbers should appear in a phone number directory,” O’Loughlin said.

O’Loughlin said this is the first time the ACMA has handed down a formal warning over a breach of the IPND Scheme.

O’Loughlin said that as well as publishing the unlisted number, Localsearch failed to destroy the number and associated data within 10 business days of being notified it had changed from listed to unlisted, notify the ACMA, or give the affected consumer information about referring the matter to the Information Commissioner.

“In addition, while it did in time resolve the matter with the affected individual, it took longer than it should have.

“The ACMA issued Localsearch a formal warning as this has been Localsearch’s only breach of its authorisation in 11 years, and it resolved the matter to the affected individual’s satisfaction.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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