David Davis welcomes Advertising Standards Authority crackdown on copycat websites


David Davis has welcomed the action announced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), following on from its research into ‘copycat’ websites that charge people for government services which can be obtained for free from Government websites. The ASA has announced that it will increase its enforcement activities, work with internet search engines to remove misleading adverts from search results, and will work with the Government to promote public awareness of ‘official’ services.

In response to the announcement David Davis said:

“These websites have been deceiving people for too long, making people think they are paying for official services, such as applying for their passports and filing their tax returns, when in fact they are being charged for services which are unnecessary.

By mimicking official government websites through use of similar colour and design schemes, logos and site names, these websites have been lulling people into a false sense of security that they on a Government website, allowing private companies to collect personal data from people who believe they are trusting their data to the Government.

I have been campaigning since January to put an end to these copycat websites, including meeting with the relevant ministers and with Google, all of whom have taken this issue extremely seriously.

It is excellent news that the Advertising Standards Authority is acting on these concerns and is taking steps to protect the public. This deceitful practice has caused great harm and distress and it is only right that it should be stopped.”