U.K. DATA WATCHDOG WARNS ONLINE GAMBLING FIRMS REGARDING SPAMMING
Information Commissioners Office advises the public that it has a channel to report spam.
Britains Information Commissioners Office data watchdog has advised that it is investigating massive spamming taking place via the internet, with special attention to the online gambling environment where the practice appears particularly prevalent.
The ICO has contacted over 400 gambling companies, warning them that they are required to explain how they use and safeguard customers personal data, how they send out marketing texts and what involvement they have with affiliate marketers.
Most of the companies contacted are understood to run affiliate marketing operations to attract new players, and there is some discussion on who is responsible as the data controller in these business arrangements.
Officials have commented that if no one takes responsibility, data rules may be overlooked, which in turn could lead to firms operating in the UK facing fines of up to GBP 500,000 for failing to comply with the law.
The ICO has opined that the online gambling industry is presenting "particular problems" involving the use of affiliate marketing.
Gambling sites are separately being probed by the UKs Competitions and Market Authority, aided by the Gambling Commission over concerns about consumer protection .
The ICOs anti-spam executive, David Clancy, said in a statement this week:
"Companies must comply with the law when using people’s personal information. Not knowing the law or trying to pass the buck to another company in the chain is no excuse. The public expect firms to be accountable for how they obtain and use personal data when marketing by phone, e-mail, or text. Fail to be accountable and you could be breaking the law, risking ICO enforcement action and the future of your business."
The ICO has published a new set of codes explaining how businesses and organizations need to be more upfront with customers about how their personal data is being used.