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ICO Fines UK Business ISP Onecom £100,000 for 3.3 Million SPAM Texts

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 (11:29 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 315)
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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has hit Hampshire-based business broadband ISP Onecom with a fine of £100,000 after they “broke the law” by sending millions of SPAM texts about mobile phone upgrades, which triggered 1,050 complaints from the public.

The rules prevent companies from sending electronic mail marketing (inc. TXTs) to individuals, unless they have specifically consented to receive it or “they are an existing customer who bought (or negotiated to buy) a similar product or service from you in the past, and you gave them a simple way to opt out both when you first collected their details and in every message you have sent.”

In this case Onecom appears to have sent masses of text messages to people (between 1st October 2015 and 31st March 2016) and all without first ensuring that they complied with the current law (as above). Apparently Onecom “could not provide evidence to the ICO explaining the source of the data used” and neither could they provide evidence to show that the recipients had consented to receive the messages.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement, said:

“Spam texts are a real nuisance to millions of people across the country and this firm’s failure to follow the rules drove over 1,000 people to complain.

I would urge anyone bothered by a spam text to report it, either via the ICO’s website or by forwarding the text to 7726. Your reports will help us crack down on those who fail to treat people’s information with the respect it deserves.”

Details of the case can be found online.

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