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Email Spammer Fined £40,000

Tagged with SMS, Marketing, Business, Text, Messaging
by Adam Brogden
in Blog

28-Mar-2019 10:28

A Kent based Pension company has just been fined £40,000 for sending 2 million spam emails. The Pension company did get Data Protection advice from somewhere but this was deemed misleading by the ICO and didn't save them from this fine. You really do need to think carefully before you send spam emails or text messages. The regulations are complex but pretty clear so there is little excuse. The Privacy of Electronic Communications Regulations apply to email and sms and put very simply state that you need consent before you send marketing messages to people that you don’t have an ongoing business relationship with. It’s a little more complicated than that but if you can’t produce a cast-iron consent statement for every email address in your list then you should not send the campaign.

Consent is defined clearly and there is little chance of you escaping if you use the old, soft opt-in claim. You need to be 100% sure that you have permission to send the message. I would go as far as to say you should have:

  1. Image of the web screen that was in place when the consent was captured

  2. Copy of the privacy statement that was used

  3. Copy of the terms and conditions if relevant

  4. Log of all messages sent to that person clearly showing the opt-out instructions

  5. Log of all campaigns, the number of messages sent, number of opt-outs received, any other evidence that might help you

  6. Contracts/agreements with any other companies involved, data sellers, email broadcasters

This seems like overkill but if you have this then you should be safe. Anything less and you start to gamble. Not sure I would fancy a £40,000 gamble when the ICO hold all the aces!

Good luck all.