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Unsolicited Calls

Unsolicited Calls

Postby Last Year » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:11 am

Hi,

Firstly I would like to say that I have asked, and received permission to post from the Administrator of this site because I am specifically asking for advice.

I am a third year BA (Hons) Social Science student and have an assignment to complete on a human rights issue. The issue I have chosen to tackle is unsolicited phone calls to mobile and landline numbers which I think has affected almost everyone in the UK.

The brief is to imagine the UN is hosting a conference on human rights and I have been invited to contribute to the debate. I am to persuade the UN human rights specialists that the issue is important and requires urgent action. I also have to recommend ways the UN could address the issue through one or several of its HR bodies and their various operating mechanisms. Not to exaggerate or use sensationalism to convey my point and I must be persuasive and accurate.

I am asking you all specifically for help as my expertise in this area is lacking to say the least! The posts I have read under this thread are impressive and I need your obviously well read opinions.

My aim is for a First and this, as you will probably know, requires a level above and beyond a standard research, critique and presentation format. A previous student who gained a First in this area wrote about the fluoride in tap water and its link to dementia and our right to health.

I want to steer clear of all the obvious HR issues and particularly those currently being covered by the media as my peers are tackling those issues. I want to look at an obscure angle and my hope is that your brilliant minds may highlight such an angle! I am looking for the 'WOW' factor of anyone and in particular lecturers reading my work.

I thank you sincerely in advance and if anyone is interested in reading the end result I would be more than happy to send a copy.

Kindest regards to all,
Caroline :-)
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:53 am

I am not seeing how it could be a human rights issue, but as it happens I recently wrote to my MP on this issue and proposed a couple of simple ideas to alleviate the problem.
The first is that any business involved in this kind of activity must use an identifiable (i.e. not withheld) number, and that number must be listed on an easily accessible public database.
Secondly, the obvious problem with any regulation on this issue is the question of enforcement, but I believe it is technically possible, and not particularly difficult for the telecoms providers to set up a service whereby you can dial a number and the service logs the last line that called your line to be dealt with as appropriate.
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby atticus » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:40 pm

I really struggle to see a human rights issue that you can develop to any standard. How much did you think this one through before choosing this topic? Is it too late to change?

As you will know from recent news reports, the law that is engaged here is the Data Protection Act.

I suppose you can try something about the rights of the call centre cannon-fodder in foreign lands to earn a living and support their family life, and how this needs to be balanced against the rights of well-off persons in developed nations not to be pestered about road traffic accidents they never had.
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:47 pm

She did say she wants an obscure angle...
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby atticus » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:51 pm

and my brilliant mind highlighted one!
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby Last Year » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:01 pm

Hairyloon - I'm looking at it contravening article 12 right to privacy.
I agree that the 'number withheld' or 'private' message when receiving a phonecall/text should be stopped. The latest method for unsolicited callers is to 'spoof' which is to use your local area code followed by a 6 digit number. This method lulls the recipient into answering the call because it is 'local' and therefore safe.
Yes the use of an easily accessible public database is an excellent idea. The only drawback I see for that is the population who do not have access to the internet such as some elderly people who are currently extremely vulnerable to this sort of call. Would there be a way around that for the most vulnerable?
I will definitely look into the possibility of the providers setting up a last number who called though. I know 1471 is a similar idea but again does not work with withheld and private numbers. Perhaps there is a way for them to source the originator.
The internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have been tasked by the govt to look into this area. It seems that they haven't made much progress! Which? are also putting proposals forward.

I have just read the updated messages I have.

Atticus - We were given the assignment last week (3 days thinking time before I posted). The assignment should be finished by 22nd October although I may have a week's grace. I could change but will have lost research time and I definitely as I said want to go into the obvious HR issues. I do like the idea you presented though. I will look into whether HR exists and to what extent in far flung places as that may negate the argument?

Both - had to laugh at your last two comments. That has proved a definite highlight in an otherwise dreary, angst ridden, mind numbing legislation reading day! :-)
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:13 pm

atticus wrote:and my brilliant mind highlighted one!

Possibly, but I preferred your first answer:
atticus wrote:I really struggle to see a human rights issue that you can develop to any standard. How much did you think this one through before choosing this topic? Is it too late to change?


But far be it from me to not run with an interesting suggestion... though I am not clear what convention rights you suggest may be violated.
Article 23 gives the right to work, and Article 24 to rest and leisure, both of which are frequently interrupted by unsolicited calls.

Or perhaps Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.
If I am phoned up to discuss an accident I haven't had, is that an attack on my reputation?

ETA, I wrote this while you were posting and I cannot be faffed to change it.

Last Year wrote:Both - had to laugh at your last two comments. That has proved a definite highlight in an otherwise dreary, angst ridden, mind numbing legislation reading day! :-)

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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:23 pm

Last Year wrote:I will look into whether HR exists and to what extent in far flung places as that may negate the argument?

You said it was a UN convention that you are invited to, so it would be the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that you will want to be looking at.
Last edited by atticus on Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: This is as good as FTQ. Be nice.
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby Last Year » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:19 pm

We're a great double act: between us we make a whole wit... There was some talk of a stage show, but it was decided to be a cruel and unusual punishment... - no seriously you should lol

You said it was a UN convention that you are invited to, so it would be the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that you will want to be looking at. - Argh! Yes of course you're right. I'm sorry, bear with me. Having not looked at HR so far at all I am making daft mistakes. I can promise you though in 17 days I will be very much up-to-date! lol
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Re: Unsolicited Calls

Postby dls » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:12 pm

There is plenty of case law setting out just what the human right of privacy is - start there.
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