HomeInsightsInformation Commissioner’s Office fines credit broker after more than five million unlawful text messages sent

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Credit broker Digitonomy Ltd has been fined £120,000 by the ICO for being responsible for millions of marketing texts sent without proper consent.

Between April 2015 and February 2016 there were 1,464 complaints about the spam messages, which encouraged people to apply for loans and directed them to company websites.

An ICO investigation revealed the Chester-based business used affiliate marketing companies to send out over five million messages offering cash loans as part of a marketing campaign. Digitonomy provided examples of the consent wording from the affiliate companies including:

You consent to us and our trusted partners contacting you by SMS, mail, email, telephone and automated message.

The ICO reminds readers that this type of consent is not enough for sending marketing text messages and that companies must have people’s specific permission. Digitonomy could not prove that it had proper consent.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement said: “Businesses that rely on direct marketing must be able to confirm that people have given their permission to receive text messages and to comply with the law they must have the evidence to prove it.

“Depending on the word of another company is simply not acceptable and is not an excuse. Digitonomy is paying a hefty price for not meeting its responsibilities.

“We say it over again – any business that has instigated a marketing campaign is responsible for the information involved. Businesses need to get it right or we will take action”. To read the ICO’s press release and for a link to the monetary penalty notice, click here.