In the ever changing worlds of social media, e-commerce and
advertising, companies venturing into these areas have to comply
with increasingly complex rules and regulations. Recently in the
press there has been focus on the issue of unsolicited
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 Ł250,000.
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
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
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