The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has spoken out against proposals which would require Trading Standards to give businesses two days' notice before they inspect a premises, claiming that this is ample time for rouge traders to pull the wool over inspectors' eyes.
A consultation period is currently under way after the government published its long-awaited draft Consumer Rights Bill in the summer which proposed the controversial notice period.
FAST was keen to welcome the consideration of digital content in the bill, but slammed the plans to enforce the notice period, saying 48 hours is more than enough time for crucial evidence to be hidden or destroyed.
"Ultimately, our concern is that the proposed changes will have a dramatic impact on the ability of Trading Standards officers up and down the country to do their jobs effectively," said Julian Heathcote Hobbins, FAST's general counsel.
"This proposal could mean that certain illicit activity may slip through the net unnoticed. With rogue traders, a two-day notice period is ample time to destroy any evidence, let alone that in digital form."
Heathcote Hobbins pointed to a recent successful example in which Trading Standards was able to seize 400 dodgy copies of McAfee software in a spot check, and warned that such successes would be tougher to achieve should the notice period come into force.
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders
Analysts predict upturn in PC market next year, but 2018 to remain plagued by components shortages
Neil Sawyer claims he has 'never seen so many conversations about a new method of investing in workplace technology'