The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has announced it will be issuing fines totalling over £250,000 to two firms that have been sending spam texts to UK citizens.
The watchdog said the fines would be issued for breaches of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which regulate electronic marketing, with notices of intent already to the offending firms.
Simon Entwisle, director of operations at the ICO said the move was a result of repeated calls from the public to do more to clamp down on the growing scourge of unwanted text messages.
"These are often made by rogue companies claiming to offer pay outs for accidents a person has never had or Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims that they are not necessarily entitled to," he said.
"While companies can phone people to sell them the latest product or service, the law states that individuals should not receive unsolicited texts or automated marketing calls unless they have given their permission.
Entwisle said he could not provide any more information on the firms involved while they were still processing the cases, but said he hoped the ICO's hard line stance would serve as a warning to others engaging in these illegal practices.
The ICO seldom issues fines under the PECR, with most case taken forward under the Data Protection Act when organisations - mostly public sector bodies like councils and NHS Trusts - lose personal information on members of the public.
To date almost £2m has been levied in this way, with the money fed back to the ICO's sponsor department in government, the Ministry of Justice.
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