£50k fine for sending spam texts

Better for the Country Ltd, best known for campaigning under the name Leave.EU, got the details from a third party. But they didn’t check that the supplier had obtained the necessary consents. Many of those who were sent texts had consented to receive messages about areas including leisure, home improvements and insurance but there was no specification about EU politics.

To avoid being fined make sure you have the necessary consents and follow the principles of the Data Protection Act that makes sure personal information is:

  • fairly and lawfully processed
  • processed for limited purposes
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate and up to date
  • not kept for longer than is necessary
  • processed in line with your rights
  • secure
  • not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

This is also the time for businesses to start considering the more stringent requirements in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into force in May 2018. Fines under the GDPR can be up to €20m.