ICO hits Fareham firm with £100,000 fine for spam texts

DataIQ News

The Information Commissioner's Office is continuing its fight against rogue marketing companies by slapping a £100,000 fine on a Fareham firm for sending millions of spam texts about mobile phone upgrades.

The ICO’s investigation, informed by more than 1,000 complaints from the public, found Onecom broke the law which sets out strict rules about the consent people must give to receive marketing text messages.

Between 26 October 2015 and 2 June 2016, 1,050 complaints were made to the 7726 spam text reporting service, or directly to the ICO, about the text messages.

Onecom could not provide evidence to the ICO explaining the source of the data used to send the 1,050 text messages. The firm could also not provide evidence that it had consent to send the text messages. Onecom confirmed it had sent 3.3 million text messages between 1 October 2015 and 31 March 2016.

ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley 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.”

The fine follows a record monetary penalty for nuisance calls issued last week against Keurboom Communications, which was slapped with a £400,000 fine for making nearly 100 million calls. However, no sooner had the fine been issued than the company went bust. A recent Which? report revealed that only four of the 22 fines issued by the ICO since 2015’s reforms have actually been paid.

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