The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined two owners of a marketing company £440,000 ($713,000) for bombarding the public with millions of unlawful spam texts over a period of three years.
It’s the first time that the ICO has used its power to issue a monetary penalty for a serious breach of the UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) since these powers were approved in January 2012.
The ICO is also currently considering issuing penalties to three other companies believed to be acting in breach of the regulations as the office continues its crackdown on the illegal marketing industry.
“The public have told us that they are distressed and annoyed by the constant bombardment of illegal texts and calls and we are currently cracking down on the companies responsible, using the full force of the law.” said an ICO spokesperson.
“In March we set up a survey on the ICO website so people can tell us about any unwanted texts and calls they have been receiving. So far we have received over 60,000 responses. We know the majority of these messages and calls have been made by companies who try to remain anonymous in the hope they can profit by selling personal information to claims management companies and other marketing organisations. We are using the information provided by the public to identify those responsible.”