This case came to my attention this week and must strike a chord with anyone that is plagued by spam texts, which we mostly ignore although I may be inclined to take action now in light of this result.

In essence, Provident Personal Credit have been fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) for employing third party companies to send up to 1m unsolicited text messages to promote its Satsuma loan products.  It is likely that more texts were sent by other affiliates that the ICO were not aware of.

The ICO imposed the fine as recipients had not agreed to receive the messages. The ICO’s head of enforcement, Steve Eckersley, said that the law was very clear. “You can’t send marketing texts to people who have not signed up to receive them,” he said. “Being bombarded with texts you didn’t ask for and don’t want is an intrusion into people’s privacy, an irritation and, in the worst cases, can be upsetting. Companies have no excuse whatsoever for sending nuisance texts, whether they do it themselves or employ someone else to do it for them.”

The ICO has the power to impose a financial penalty of up to £500,000 for breaches of data protection law, although in reality it rarely touches that threshold.

All it took was 285 complaints out of over 1m recipients to trigger this result.

I cover aspects of Data Protection breaches complete with templates based on real-life test cases that work in my book now on sale via Amazon as an e-book and paperback priced £2.99 / £7.99.

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