The Information Commissioner (ICO) has fined a North West financier £40,000 for sending out thousands of unsolicited marketing texts promoting loans.

  • Businesses must give their consent to receive text messages. 
  • 130 people made complaints about receiving spam texts from the firm.
  • The company's telemarketing affiliate obtained their details from competition and money saving websites. Those websites only contained generic and unspecific privacy notices indicating that data maybe shared with unspecified third parties none of these specified the name of the sending company. 

ICO Head of Enforcement Steve Eckersley said:

“Nobody wants to be bombarded with text messages they didn’t agree to receive.

“That’s why the law is clear. Businesses must be able to confirm that people have given their permission to receive text messages or emails - and they must have the evidence to prove it.”

“It is not acceptable to rely on assurances given by suppliers. Businesses need to make rigorous checks that personal data used on their behalf is used fairly and lawfully, and must be certain that they have the necessary consent.” 

The ICO fined four companies £303,000 in the previous month for similar offences, included in that total were fines of £83,000 for Honda and Flybe for sending out unsolicited email.

Mobile phone users can report the receipt of unsolicited marketing text messages to the GSMA’s Spam Reporting Service by forwarding the message to 7726 (spelling out “SPAM”).  The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide and the ICO is provided with access to the data on complaints made to the 7726 service.


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