View Full Version : Spammers face prosecution in landmark case

09-02-05, 14:24
THE Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is to take its first prosecution against 'spammers', or companies that send unsolicited email or text messages, within weeks.

A spokesman confirmed that summonses will be issued against two Dublin-based companies, both of which will be charged with sending unwanted text messages to mobile phone users.

If found guilty, the companies could face fines of up to 3,000 per message sent. The directors of either company could also be barred from holding directorships in other businesses if the District Court records a guilty verdict.

Spamming generally involves an offer of a particular service or competition entry and are sent via text messaging, email or fax. By law, companies are not allowed send them unless the recipient has agreed to be contacted.

It is estimated that spam email could cost Irish businesses without filtering protection up to 2bn per year, made up of time wasted as workers open and read irrelevant and unwanted correspondence.

Senior compliance officer Sean Sweeney said yesterday that the two companies would be the first to be prosecuted under legislation introduced in late 2003.

"They had no consent to send these messages," he said, adding that each company is alleged to have sent up to 100,000 text messages each. Five complaints had been received about one company, with one complaint about the other. Both are based in the greater Dublin area.

Summonses are expected to be issued by the end of the month, and it is hoped the court a date for the hearing will be after Easter.
Article (http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1335443&issue_id=12052)