Well known companies fined by ICO

The ICO recently announced almost half a million pounds of fines for 3 companies that between them sent more than 350 million nuisance messages.

Saga Personal Finance and Sports Direct were fine £150,000 and £75,000 respectively according to the ICO press release, which goes on to cite the largest fine of £200,000 for We Buy Any Car who sent more than 191 million emails and 3.6 million SMS marketing messages, without fully satisfying the requirement of the soft opt in, and in particular not providing a means for data subjects to refuse marketing communications at the initial point of collection of their data.

Soft opt in is available in certain circumstances and for commercial companies, but not currently for non-profits. Interestingly the UK government consultation on replacing the UK GDPR, could see soft opt in being available for non-profits too, but this is a lesson that it might not be an invitation to do away with consent, and it must be considered carefully.