Unsolicited calls resume after official shutdown

Fri, Nov 23, 2012, 00:00

AUTOMATED CALLS:The service provider that was shut down yesterday afternoon for sending anti-abortion automated calls to households across Ireland has resurfaced and was still making the calls yesterday evening.

Just before 3pm yesterday, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner closed the Dublin line making the calls, but was subsequently contacted by people receiving unsolicited messages.

The office received more than 30 official complaints related to the automated calls before it was initially shut down.

A spokeswoman for the office said it was marked as a priority case. “We would consider 30 complaints to be a very large number,”she said.

The calls were made from a Dublin number and purported to quote a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology. The automated caller said Irish doctors did not put the life of a mother at risk, even if it meant the unborn child’s death.

Eamon O’Dwyer, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynaecology at NUI Galway, said the calls included a quote from a short speech he made at a conference some time ago but he wished to dissociate himself from the calls. He was not aware his comment was going to be used in a telephone messaging campaign, he said.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is advising people not to engage with the calls.