October 3, 2012

The rise of mobile spamming

Two unnamed people have been found to have illegally sent millions of spam text messages to individuals. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said many of the messages claimed the recipients were owed money for unwanted payment protection insurance or entitled to personal injury damages when in reality this was not the case. These events were discovered after the ICO issued an appeal for the public to report when they received spam text messages. The two individuals now have 28 days to demonstrate that they had permission to send the texts and were compliant with the law otherwise they face fines of up to £250,000.

Under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it is an offence to carry out a commercial practice by making unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or other remote media. A company or individual can only carry out unsolicited electronic marketing if the individual to whom the message is being sent has given explicit consent to receiving it, for example has opted to receive marketing information on a website by ticking a box. The receiver of the message must ‘opt in’ to receiving the message, and can ‘opt out’ at any point in time.

The ICO is committed to pursuing companies and individuals who breach the rules and regulations in force; in addition to the two individuals, eight companies are also being investigated and have been warned they may face further action unless they can prove that they have complied with the law. It is therefore vital that companies know where they stand under the law, and how to comply.

If you have any queries or need advice about compliance with the various regulations please contact John North, Head of Corporate and Commercial on 020 7583 2222 or [email protected] or Sonia Mohammed on [email protected].  


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