On 5 March 2021, the UK’s DPA (“ICO UK”) announced fines amounting to GBP 330,000 were imposed against two separate companies that sent nuisance text messages during the COVID-19 pandemic, as follows:
- a company in the advertising sector was fined GBP 250,000 for sending more than 2.6 million nuisance text messages without valid consent. The messages sent resulted in over 10,000 complaints;
- a company specialized in lead generation for financial products was fined GBP 80,000 for sending more than 95,000 text messages without valid consent. According to the ICO UK, the messages were designed to appeal to individuals whose finances have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
In addition, the ICO UK ordered both companies to stop sending unlawful direct marketing messages.
The press release may be accessed here.