Data Protection Commissioner’s Annual Report 2005: Failures to introduce NDD

The NDD is the national database of telephone numbers in which a person may express their preference not to have their number used for any marketing purpose. In theory, this ought to kill cold-calls selling you phone services you didn’t really want.

Strangely, the telephone companies who were given the job of running this database seem not to have got it quite right.

Although all telecommunications service providers had
been given adequate notice of this new facility, I was
disappointed that two of the main service providers
experienced difficulties in ensuring that their own
subscribers’ requests were properly recorded on the
NDD. EsatBT experienced short term difficulties that
resulted in some delay to the recording of preferences
on the NDD. However, Eircom experienced a number
of difficulties in operating the system. This resulted in an uncertain number of initial requests being lost and
took a number of months to resolve. This was
disappointing considering the fact that Eircom hosts
the NDD and therefore should have reasonably been
expected to be in a better position to operate the
system than others. Given the difficulties experienced,
in cooperation with the Commission for
Communication Regulation (ComReg), I instructed
Eircom to directly notify all customers who may have
been affected by the problems it had experienced in
order that they might express their preference again.

The Commissioner also points out that “Currently, my office is in discussion with
ComReg, Eircom (as NDD host) and all
telecommunications service providers to progress the
matter.” This ‘matter’ is the inability of ex-directory numbers to avail of the protection of the NDD.

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