Used-car dealer fined £40k over spam texts

Smart phone

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a used-car dealer £40,000 for sending unlawful text messages, and issued an enforcement notice ordering the company to refrain from such activity in future.

The business, which sells cars and offers car finance, sent hundreds of thousands of texts to individuals whose data it obtained from other organisations. The ICO said that as the sender of the texts, the company was responsible for ensuring it was only sending texts to people who had consented to this type of marketing contact.

If the company does not comply with the enforcement notice, it could face court action.

Is your business’ marketing lawful?

Businesses that carry out marketing have numerous legal obligations under the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR) and Data Protection Act (DPA). Failure to comply with the laws in this area could result in adverse publicity, fines and possibly criminal prosecution.

Our Data Protection and Direct Marketing Briefing Note highlights the key data protection issues your business should be aware of when it conducts direct marketing. It includes guidance on how to safely collect and store customer data, send solicited and unsolicited marketing material by phone, post, fax, SMS and email, as well as guidance on database sales and purchases.

Marketers should also read our Sales Promotions Briefing Note for an overview of the law and best practices in this area and our Data Protection Briefing Note for general guidance on storing and handling personal data.

Expert legal advice on marketing and data protection

For expert legal advice on the data protection aspects of business marketing, please email Mark Williams (Partner) or call him on 01323 435 900. To learn about Mark’s skills and experience, please view his website profile.

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