Join Date: Oct 2006
An even bigger waste of space than PhonepayPlus?
I'm talking, of course, about the Office of the Information Commissioner:
7 April 2009
Case Reference Number ELE0235399
Thank you for your complaint form about the unsolicited direct marketing text messages you received from Antiphony Ltd.
The Information Commissioner advises on and enforces the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (the Regulations). These are concerned with the way in which organisations send marketing material by electronic means (for example using telephone, fax, text and email). Marketing can include the promotion of goods, services, aims or ideals.
Regulation 22 says that organisations should not send unsolicited direct marketing by electronic mail (including text message) to individual subscribers without their prior consent.
There is an exemption to this rule which can apply in the case of a clearly defined customer relationship. However an organisation must satisfy all 3 of the following criteria for this exemption to apply. They are that:
1. Contact details are collected 'in the course of a sale or negotiations for a sale'.
2. Contact details are only used to send marketing messages about similar products and services.
3. Recipients are given the opportunity to opt-out when their details are initially collected and are given the opportunity to opt-out with every subsequent marketing communication.
In addition Regulation 23 says that when such messages are sent, senders should not conceal or disguise their identity. They should also provide a valid address which recipients can use to 'opt out' of receiving further marketing messages by electronic mail.
The Commissioner has no powers to punish an organisation for a breach of the Regulations. But if it appears that an organisation has not complied, we will educate them to help them understand what is required and we will advise them to take immediate steps to comply with the law in the future. In the event that the organisation does not comply in the future, we can take more formal action.
You have indicated that you received unsolicited direct marketing messages from Antiphony Ltd, despite the fact that you had not previously provided your contact details to them.
It therefore appears that they have breached the Regulations in this case.
I have written to Antiphony Ltd. to remind them of their obligations under the Regulations and I have told them to suppress your number from their list so that they do not send you any further direct marketing text messages. Suppression should take no longer than 28 days. After this time you should not receive any further messages from them.
I have also told them that we will keep your complaint on file. If you receive further marketing text messages from Antiphony Ltd. after 28 days have elapsed, please let us know in writing, quoting the reference number above.
Where an organisation persistently breaches the Regulations we can take more formal action to compel them to comply. For information about the factors we take into account when deciding if formal action is appropriate, please see our ‘strategy for data protection regulatory action’ which is available from our website (www.ico.gov.uk) following the links for ‘Tools and resources’, ‘Document library’, Data protection’, and scrolling down to ‘Detailed specialist guides’. You can also request a copy from our helpline on 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 545745.
For details of the formal action we have either taken or are currently considering please see our website, following the links for ‘What the ICO covers’, ‘Privacy and electronic communications’ and 'Enforcement’. You can again request details from our helpline.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
DP Reception Unit
The ICO’s vision is a society where information rights and responsibilities are respected by all.
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And why to we need two different bodies to not regulate the PRS crooks?