Third party marketing lists

As 2015 draws to a close, the UK’s Data Protection Regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’), is making sure it ends the year with a bang. The past few months have seen a significant increase in enforcement action, a theme which seems to be common for the regulator at this time of year because of the rise in shopping and promotional activities.

A key area of focus for the ICO has been to crack down on nuisance calls and inappropriate data-sharing practices through ‘Operation HIDA’.
Continue Reading The UK’s data protection regulator cracks the enforcement whip

In a decision of 31 August 2015, the First-Tier Tribunal provided important clarification on the use of third-party mailing lists. Optical Express v Information Commissioner (EA/2014/0014) is significant for organisations that use or are considering using such lists.

The case was concerned with an appeal by Optical Express (‘OE’) against an Enforcement Notice issued by the Information Commissioner. The Notice required OE to stop sending unsolicited marketing text messages to individuals without their consent. OE had obtained recipient details under data supplier agreements with Thomas Cook, and Thomas Cook had obtained these details by asking individuals to complete a travel survey which had a tick-box option to indicate that they were happy to receive marketing communications from third parties. OE argued that this was valid consent, and therefore the text messages were not unsolicited.
Continue Reading Optical Express appeal highlights the need for caution over third-party marketing lists