Marketing biz sent 107 million spam emails... to just 437k people
Recruitment company fined £130,000 by data regulator for breaking PECR
A recruitment business that sent out an eye watering 107 million spam emails is now nursing a £130,000 ($161,000) fine from Britain’s data watchdog.
London-based Join The Triboo Limited (JTT) dispatched the spams to some 437,324 people between August 2019 and August 2020, meaning the lucky recipients would have found an average of 244 of these messages in their inbox, the Information Commissioner’s Office told us.
“It’s an issue many of us face - opening up our email inboxes and it being filled with emails we did not ask for or consent to,” said Andy Curry, ICO head of investigations. “This shouldn’t be considered a fact of life.”
As Reg readers know, sending direct marketing to unsuspecting individuals is a law-breaking move, as outlined in the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Regulations 2003, the legislation used to penalize JTT.
The company’s actions came to light during an ICO investigation into Leads Work Limited, which was itself fined for contravening PECR by sending unsolicited direct marketing messages. LWL told the regulator it purchased data from a numbers of sources, including JTT.
The ICO found that in addition to direct marketing, JTT also acts as an agency by hosting electronic marketing for third parties to its own distribution lists. And JTT does lead generation and publishes several "editorial" websites that write about job-related topics in which users could subscribe.
The ICO found JTT did not have valid consent to send the 107 million direct marketing messages.
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Not one complaint about the emails was received by the ICO but it was not surprised by this as the emails were hosted and JTT’s role would not necessarily have been apparent to those receiving the emails.
Curry at the ICO said: “We provide advice and support to legitimate companies that want to comply with the law… that is however, not what was happening in this case. The company did not properly seek permission from the people it chose to bombard with spam emails. The company used job seeking websites as a key component in its unlawful campaign.
“In taking this action, we say to the public that we will continue to be on your side and protect you, and we say to any other organization operating outside of the law that we will pursue every case like this brought to us to the fullest extent.” ®