A spam campaign where a company offered to register you with the Data Protection Register has been slammed as misleading, selective and "likely to frighten recipients" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Data Protection Registration Services sent out an email, entitled '£5000 Fine Data Protection Act 1998' to firms regarding the 1998 Data Protection Act.
It charged £85 to register firms (compared to the official Information Commission fee of £35), focused heavily on the punishment that could be levied against companies who fail to comply with the Act, and didn't inform readers of exemptions.
Part of the email stated: "If you keep details of individuals, companies, employees, credit details, customer lists, CCTV, accounts, membership details etc. on your computer then you must register... fill in the enclosed notification form and return it to us with the correct fee."
The ASA said the email was likely to frighten recipients into sending money, that it misleadingly implied that it was an official message from the Information Commissioner, and that it didn't inform recipients of exemptions from the Act.
Data Protection Registration Services' email did have a disclaimer stating that it wasn't linked to the Information Commissioner, but only in the small print.
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