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UK regulator fines EE for sending text messages without consent

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 24, 2019
Britain   The regulator fined EE GBP100,000 for the "unlawful" messages sent in

The UK Information Commissioner's Office said it has fined telecoms company EE Ltd, a part of FTSE 100-listed BT Group PLC, for sending over 2.5 million direct marketing messages to its customers without consent.

The regulator fined EE GBP100,000 for the "unlawful" messages sent in early 2018 encouraging customers to access and use the My EE app to manage their account and also to upgrade their phone.

During the ICO investigation, EE stated the texts were sent as service messages and were therefore not covered by electronic marketing rules. However, the regulator found the messages contained direct marketing and that the company sent them deliberately.

"These were marketing messages which promoted the company's products and services," explained ICO director of investigations Andy White.

"Companies should be aware that texts and emails providing service information which also include a marketing or promotional element must comply with the relevant legislation or could face a fine up to GBP500,000," added White.

The ICO's guidance on electronic marketing says that marketing messages can be only sent to existing customers if they have given their consent and if they are given a simple way to opt out of marketing when their details are first collected and in every message sent.

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