UK data watchdog raids companies suspected of 11 million nuisance texts

Computers and documents in the bag, please

By Kat Hall


The Information Commissioner's Office has raided two companies thought to be behind 11 millions nuisance texts sent to the public.

Computer equipment and documents were seized for analysis at two Greater Manchester-based premises of the unnamed entities, the ICO said.

The perpetrators are understood to have sent the text messages to UK mobile numbers between January 2017 and January 2018. As a result the ICO received 3,297 separate complaints.

The text messages mainly promoted financial management services such as pensions, loans and claims for issues such as PPI and flight cancellations. The recipients were unable to identify who the texts were from or opt out of them, which is also against the law.

Andy Curry, the ICO's enforcement group manager, said:

"Nuisance text messages like this are a real problem for people as seen in the number of complaints we have received in this case alone. Businesses and individuals who carry out this type of marketing should be assured that we will carry out thorough investigations and take tough action against them where necessary.

He hoped the "existing evidence", along with that seized in the raids, would stop the businesses activities, "and act as a deterrent to others."

In 2017, the ICO issued 29 civil monetary penalties totalling £2.8m. The largest penalty – of £400,000 – was against Keurboom Communications Ltd for making over 99 million unlawful automated marketing calls.

However, nuisance calls remains a scourge of the UK populace, totalling 3.9 billion last year. That was something the ICO recently gave itself a pat on the back for, having brought it down from 4.8 billion in 2015.

Still, that's a few more doors to kick in. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

Cryptocurrency-crafting creeps crept crafty code into Google App Store

Chocolate Factory's anti-malware protections fail yet again

Cambridge Analytica seeks data protection assistant

Jobseeker? You may have heard of it...

Another banking trojan is trying to loot your cryptocurrency wallets

Trickbot variant adds Coinbase exchange to monitored sites

And Oracle E-biz suite makes 3: Package also vulnerable to exploit used by cryptocurrency miner

Hat trick!

Internet Society: Cryptocurrency probably not an identity system

ID on a blockchain? Maybe. ID on Bitcoin? Forget it

Paris Hilton inflates cryptocurrency bubble some more, backs Initial Coin Offering

Meanwhile, China says of ICOs: That's hot, we mean, er, banned

UK reaches peak Bitcoin as bin firm accepts cryptocurrency

'It's not a publicity stunt,' says

Big tech wants the ICO on EU data protection board in Brexit fallout

Watchdog keeping voting rights 'huge gain' for marketing sector, say Facebook, Google et al

Facebook smartmobe app's pre-ticked privacy settings violate German data protection law

Court favours consumer group in long-running dispute

Russia to block access to cryptocurrency exchanges' websites – report

Updated Central bank deputy governor calls them 'dubious'