Claims management company fined £120,000 for breach of data protection laws

A company who unlawfully sent thousands of text messages to the public has been fined £120,000.

Handing down the fine, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said PPI claims management company Hall and Hanley sent some 3,560,211 direct marketing text messages between January and June 2018.

The firm, who files PPI claims on behalf of the public and collects a commission on each successful claim, collected the personal data of consumers using an online form on four websites.

While Hall and Hanley claimed that it had gained consent to use the data for marketing purposes, the information watchdog found that the company was named on just two of the four websites’ privacy policies.

Likewise, those who handed over their personal information were required to give consent to receive marketing messages from third parties as a condition of subscribing, contrary to data protection laws.

ICO said it received some 1,353 complaints as a direct result of these illicit messages.

Commenting on the case, Steve Eckersley, ICO Director of Investigations said: “Companies which are responsible for generating these types of marketing messages should make sure they are operating legally or face a potential fine.

“Hall and Hanley should have known better. The laws on these types of marketing messages are strict because they can be very intrusive.”

Since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the maximum fine the regulator can fine a company has increased to €20 million, or 4 per cent of annual global turnover – whichever is higher.

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