ICO - Digital Growth Experts Limited

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ICO - Digital Growth Experts Limited
Authority: ICO (UK)
Jurisdiction: United Kingdom
Relevant Law:
Data Protection Act 1998
Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003
Type: Investigation
Outcome: Violation Found
Decided: 22.09.2020
Published: 24.09.2020
Fine: 60000 GBP
Parties: Digital Growth Experts Limited
National Case Number/Name: Digital Growth Experts Limited
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: Unknown
Original Language(s): English
Original Source: ICO (in EN)
Initial Contributor: n/a

The UK's Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Digital Growth Experts Limited (DGEL) £60000, for sending thousands of nuisance marketing texts without customer consent at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (Regulations 22 and 23 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003).

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

Seeking to capitalise and profit from the pandemic, DGEL sent the texts between 29 February and 30 April 2020. These texts were promoting a hand sanitising product that it claimed to be “effective against coronavirus”. The messages were all sent to people who had not consented to receive them. Overall, 16,190 were received.

Throughout the ICO’s investigation, DGEL was unclear and inconsistent in its responses. It was also unable to provide sufficient evidence that it had the consent it is required to have under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR).

DGEL came to the ICO's attention when complaints (forwarded via short text 7726 to the GSMA’s Spam Reporting Service) were incorporated into the ICO’s Monthly Threat Assessment, which is used to identify organisations in breach of PECR.

Dispute[edit | edit source]

Did DGE violated Regulations 22 and 23 of PECR by sending out over 16,000 unsolicited marketing messages during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Holding[edit | edit source]

The ICO found that DGE contravened Regulations 22 and 23 of PECR. The ICO finds that, between the 29 February 2020 and 30 April 2020, there were 16,190 direct marketing text messages received by subscribers. The Commissioner finds that DGE transmitted the direct marketing messages sent, contrary to Regulation 22 of PECR.

The ICO therefore imposed a £60000 fine on DGE.

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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]

The decision below is a machine translation of the English original. Please refer to the English original for more details.