On 2 March 2020, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the United Kingdom (UK) fined a Scottish company – CRDNN Limited – in the amount of £500 000 for making more than 193 million automated nuisance calls. This was the maximum fine that could be issued in terms of UK law.
The ICO also raided CRDNN Limited’s offices and seized computer equipment and documents for further analysis of their nuisance call operation.
According to the press release published by the ICO, the calls were all made from so-called ‘spoofed’ numbers, which meant that people who received the calls could not identify who was making them. This was held to be in breach of the law because the company did not gain consent to make those calls and did not provide a valid opt-out.
As explained by the ICO:
This company affected the lives of millions of people, causing them disruption, annoyance and distress. The volume of calls was immense and to add to people’s frustrations attempting to opt-out of those calls simply compounded their receipt of further calls.
The directors of CRDNN knowingly operated their business with a complete disregard for the law. They did all they could to evade detection, from changing and not updating address details to transferring their operation abroad and attempting to go into liquidation. That’s why their conduct called for the maximum fine possible under the law.
But through the cooperation of the public who brought their complaints to us, we were able to identify those responsible and take action against them.
The ICO’s press release is accessible here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].