Nuisance call and spam text firms hit with £2m in fines by the ICO this year

November 24 10:26 2017 Print This Article

A London firm behind over 156,000 spam texts has been fined £45,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

It brings the total nuisance marketing fines issued by the ICO so far this financial year to £2 million.

An ICO investigation found Hamilton Digital Solutions Limited, on Wenlock Road, London, broke the law which sets out strict rules about sending marketing text messages to members of the public.

Andy Curry, ICO Enforcement Group Manager, said:

“Nuisance marketing, whether it’s by phone call, text or email, frustrates and angers people. It’s thanks to the public telling us about these troublesome messages that we’re able to investigate and fine firms like Hamilton Digital Solutions.

“The law is clear and we’re committed to taking action against those organisations that break the rules, as the £2m in fines we’ve issued since April shows.”

This monetary penalty brings the total issued since April to 20 and is the highest figure ever issued by the ICO at this stage of the financial year. The ICO has another £1.4m fines in the pipeline over the coming months.

Meanwhile, the ICO is also continuing its fight against nuisance marketing directors who try to duck out of fines by putting their firms into liquidation. The ICO is chasing these by working with other regulators such as the Insolvency Service and Claims Management Regulator.

The Insolvency Service has announced it has disqualified Hassim Iqbal, the director of personal injury claims management company Check Point Claims, from being a director for failing to comply with regulations relating to its business. Blackburn-based Check Point Claims £250,000 failed to pay an ICO fine of £250,000 for making 17.5 million nuisance calls.

Mr Curry said:

“We will pursue all options in the event of unpaid fines, and this case shows that directors behind nuisance marketing firms cannot get away with the intrusion and annoyance they cause the public.”

Nuisance calls and spam texts and emails can be reported via the ICO’s website. Mobile phone users can also report spam texts to the GSMA Spam Reporting Service by forwarding the message to 7726.

The ICO has published detailed guidance for companies carrying out marketing – explaining their legal requirements under the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. The guidance covers the circumstances in which organisations are able to carry out marketing over the phone, by text, by email, by post or by fax.

On top of the £45,000 fine for Hamilton Digital Solutions, the firm has been ordered by the ICO to stop illegal marketing or face further legal action.


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