View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
February 10, 2010updated 19 Aug 2016 10:05am

Do you like listening to political robots?

While you may seek a cheap thrill from telling political campaigners exactly what you think of their parties, you've got no such capacity when you're hit with a so-called "robocall".The Labour Party found itself in hot water recently when the

By Jason Stamper Blog

While you may seek a cheap thrill from telling political campaigners exactly what you think of their parties, you’ve got no such capacity when you’re hit with a so-called “robocall”.

The Labour Party found itself in hot water recently when the Information Commissioner’s Office said it had breached privacy rules by making unsolicited automated “robocalls” – voiced by Coronation Street star Liz Dawn – to 495,000 people. But the Lib Dems, Tories and SNP have used the gimmick too.

In the run-up to the election it’s likely these and other telephonic tactics will be on the increase.

But fear not, because help is at hand for those who prefer not to receive their campaigning, unsolicited, down the dog and bone. A new website has been set up by inventor Steve Smith, who made Dragon’s Den history last summer when he received offers from all five Dragons on the show for his trueCall nuisance call blocking device.

He’s set up By registering on the site, Smith promises to send your details to the main political parties, asking them not to contact you by phone. If they persist, he’s promising to name and shame the culprits.

“This is a growing problem and the parties that do it are worse than cowboy telemarketers,” Smith said. “These calls can be made for a penny each, so the politicians can very cheaply flood the country with calls – this is extremely intrusive.”

Not everyone will be signing up for the service, mind. Smith’s company trueCall carried out its own research with Mori in October 2008 and found that while 75 per cent of voters would not be happy if a political party rang them and played a recorded message, that leaves a sizable 25 per cent who clearly quite like the sound of a political robot’s voice.

Content from our partners
Infosecurity Europe 2024: Rethink the power of infosecurity
Rethinking cloud: challenging assumptions, learning lessons
DTX Manchester welcomes leading tech talent from across the region and beyond

Besides, if you think we’ve got it bad in the UK, you have to feel for the Americans, where political “robocalling” is even more commonplace, and even more distasteful. In one automated message, people picked up the phone to hear a recording of an unidentified woman sobbing, and talking about an abortion-related incident she claimed she’d had at a women’s health clinic founded by a Democratic congresswoman. Given the choice, I think I’d rather listen to Corrie’s Liz Dawn.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.