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October 3, 2016
Manchester-based Intelligent Lending, trading as Ocean Finance, sent more than seven million texts offering a new credit card powered by a major lender. More than 1,900 complaints were made about the texts to the 7726 spam reporting service and the ICO. The company believed it was complying with the law because the third party firm it obtained names and phone numbers from claimed it had people’s consent to send texts. The ICO, however, found the consent was insufficient to meet the requirements of regulation 22 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
Consent for the purposes of regulation 22 requires that the recipient of the text has notified the sender that he consents to messages being sent by, or at the instigation of, that sender. Indirect, or third party, consent can only be valid if it is clear and specific enough.
As well as a monetary penalty notice for £130,000, the ICO issued the company with an enforcement notice ordering it to stop sending spam texts. To read the ICO press release and to access the text of the monetary penalty notice, click here.