ICO slaps We Buy Any Car, Saga and Sports Direct with £495,000 in nuisance fines
The Information Commissioner's Office has issued almost half a million pounds in fines to several well-known companies that between them sent more than 354.0m nuisance messages.
The ICO slapped We Buy Any Car with a £200,000 fine for sending more than 191.0m emails and 3.6m nuisance texts, while Saga Services and Saga Personal Finance were fined £150,000 and £75,000, respectively, for instigating more than 157.0m emails between them and Sports Direct was fined £70,000 for sending 2.5m emails.
According to the ICO, not one of the companies had permission from people to send them marketing emails or texts, meaning the firms had indeed broken the law.
Andy Curry, head of investigations at the ICO, said: "These companies should have known better. Today's fines show the ICO will tackle unsolicited marketing, irrespective of whether the messages have been orchestrated by a small business or organisation, or a leading household name. The law remains the same and we hope today's action sends out a deterrent message that members of the public must have their choices and privacy respected.
"Companies that want to send direct marketing messages must first have people's consent. And people must understand what they are consenting to when they hand over their personal information. The same rules apply even when companies use third parties to send messages on their behalf."