The ICO has today raided a claims management call centre in Llanelli thought to be connected to a spam text operation.

The business is believed to be linked to as many as six million nuisance text messages. Documents and a computer server were seized and removed for further examination. The ICO will now consider whether an enforcement notice compelling the organisation to comply with the rules regarding text marketing can be issued.

Anne Jones, Assistant Commissioner for Wales, said:

“Our intelligence pinpointed this address as being connected to a vast spam text operation responsible for sending out millions of text messages that have caused nuisance to thousands of people.

“Thanks to this raid we have seized information that will enable us to identify where this organisation are sourcing their data and prevent them from selling it to third parties. The rules on sending text messages are clear, and if the evidence proves the law has been broken we will act.”

The raid was prompted by intelligence supplied by the Ministry of Justice Claims Management Regulation Unit (CMRU), the telecoms industry and the ICO’s online reporting tool.

The investigation will now continue, looking into where the data was acquired to make these calls and whether the data had been sold forward to other third party organisations.

Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s Head of Enforcement, has recently written a blog on the organisation’s powers to prevent nuisance calls and texts.

Mobile phone users are reminded they can report spam text messages by forwarding them to 7726 (spelling out SPAM).

This news release is also available in Welsh language / Cymraeg

Notes to Editors

1. The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

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4. Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
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  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

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