Section 11(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 grants an individual the right to ask an organisation to cease processing their personal data for direct marketing purposes. So if a company is sending you marketing by e-mail or post, then by sending them a Section 11 notice they have a legal obligation to comply. However, many well known companies have failed to comply with a Section 11 notice.

Section 11(2) of the Data Protection Act 1998 grants an individual the right to seek a court order against any organisation that fails to comply with Section 11(1). But it's up to the individual to submit the court order. And bearing in mind that such a court order – a claim for Specific Performance, will follow the the multi-track court system, is it no wonder that no one has used it? It's too expensive!

Section 11(2) should be scrapped – because it shouldn't be up to the individual to have to go through the process of a fairly serious court case just to get an organistion to comply with Section 11(1). Section 11(2) should be scrapped and replaced with an authorisation for the Information Commissioner's Office to prosecute any organsation that contravenes Section 11(1).

Why is this idea important?

Section 11 is the ultimate means of preventing a company from sending you direct marketing for the rest of your life. People like me abhore direct marketing – I have no customer loyality whatsoever so I oftern want the opportunity to make a one-off online purchase without signing up to marketing for the rest of my life.

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