Stevenage marketing company fined £60,000 for sending more than one million unsolicited emails
- Credit: Archant
A marketing company has been slapped with a £60,000 fine for sending more than one million emails without consent.
An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office into Everything DM Ltd, which is based in Stevenage, found that between May 2016 and May 2017 the firm used its direct marketing system Touchpoint to send unsolicited emails on behalf of its clients for a fee.
Those 1,424,144 emails gave the impression they were sent by the clients directly, and EDML couldn’t prove the recipients’ had consented to receive marketing emails from its clients or itself.
The investigation found EDML relied on third party consent but didn’t ensure the data complied with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
EDML first came to the commissioner’s attention following an investigation by Which? magazine into the marketing activities of list brokers in connection with early pension release schemes.
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Investigators received quotes from EDML for the disclosure of lists of personal data of third party consumers they held on licence from the list owners.
The research was passed to the commissoner amid concerns data protection rights might be at risk.
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The commissioner said EDML’s contravention of PECR was serious and, in deciding to impose a £60,000 fine, took into account three aggravating factors.
The report said: “EDML took steps to conceal their identity from the recipient, have failed to engage any remedial measures to bring their practices in line with lawful requirements, and continues to provide email campaigns on behalf of their clients in breach of the PECR.”
ICO director of investigations, Steve Eckersley, said: “Firms providing marketing services to other organisations need to double-check whether they have valid consent from people to send marketing emails to them.
“Generic third party consent is not enough and companies will be fined if they break the law.”
The ICO has also served an Enforcement Notice on EDML requiring them to comply with PECR in the future.
EDML’s director, Kieron Karue, said he intends to appeal. He said: “We provided evidence but it has been ignored, and the commissioner’s report is factually inaccurate.
“We are very confident in our processes and are going to appeal, which will cost twice the amount of the fine.”