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ICO fines Marketing agency EDML £60,000 for Spam emails

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Everything DM Ltd (EDML), based in Stevenage, £60,000 for sending 1.42 million emails without consent.

The investigation found that, between May 2016 and May 2017, the firm used its direct marketing system called ‘Touchpoint’ to send emails on behalf of its clients for a fee.

Those emails gave the impression they were sent by the clients directly, and EDML couldn’t prove that the recipients had ever given consent to receive marketing emails from its clients or itself.

The investigation revealed that EDML relied on the consent of third parties but didn’t take reasonable steps to make sure the data complied with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

Spam emails are emails sent to you without your knowledge or consent, which often contain marketing. It is email that you don’t want and didn’t ask for, and its content can cause annoyance, embarrassment and even distress. However, it’s worth remembering that the sender generally doesn’t target recipients personally. The same spam email can be sent to millions of people at the same time and the addresses can often be guessed.

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 Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) cover the sending of marketing emails. This legislation says that organisations must only send marketing emails to individuals if you have agreed to receive them, except where there is a clearly defined customer relationship.

The ICO has also served an Enforcement Notice on EDML requiring them to comply with PECR in the future.

Enforcement Notice

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What can I do if I’m getting unwanted marketing emails?

If you receive a marketing email that you don’t want from an identifiable and legitimate UK based organisation that you know and trust, you should first use the ‘unsubscribe’ link provided on the email. The organisation should then stop sending you marketing emails. Legitimate, well-known companies will offer opt-outs, and in many cases things can be resolved quickly without us getting involved.

However, if you continue to receive marketing emails from the organisation despite using the ‘unsubscribe’ link you may wish to report this to the ICO.

 

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