ICO To Crack Down On Online Gambling Firms Using Personal Data
We recently reported on a study showing that online gambling firms were been accused of targeting children through social media like Twitter and Facebook. There is mounting pressure form various groups to clampdown on unfair practices involving people being bombarded with misleading offers by online gambling firms.
The latest crackdown is coming from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who have written to over 400 companies demanding details as to how they go about targeting people with texts. The claims are that online gambling firms are obtaining lists of potential punters through affiliates and other marketing firms. Once they have these lists they send out unsolicited texts with misleading and sometimes unclear promotions and sign up bonuses. The main question that the ICO is demanding to know is what checks the gambling firms have done to see if their targets ever agreed to receive these text messages.
The ICO is not taking ignorance as an excuse for this practice as their anti-spam investigation manager David Clancy said,” 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, email or text.” Companies failing to comply with the law could face a hefty fine of up to £500,000.