From 6 April it will be easier for the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to impose monetary penalties for serious breaches of electronic direct marketing rules contained in the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. This change is the result of the recent Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2015. The new Regulations remove the requirement for the ICO to demonstrate that breaches of the electronic direct marketing rules are "of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress". Prior to the new Regulations, in order to impose a monetary penalty the ICO had to be satisfied that: - a serious breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 had occurred; - the breach was either deliberate, or the person knew/ought to have known that there was a substantial risk that the breach would occur; and - that the breach was of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to an individual; and - the person failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the breach. After 6 April the test will have a lower threshold because the ICO will no longer need to satisfy the requirement that "the breach was of a kind likely to cause substantial damage or substantial distress" which in the past has been difficult to prove. This means that In practice, the ICO will have an easier job of imposing fines for a breach of the rules relating to direct marketing via automated calling systems, fax , unsolicited calls and electronic mail (including SMS). The ICO does however, still need to satisfy the other elements of the test by showing that the breach was serious, it was either deliberate or the person knew there was a risk that the breach would occur and the person failed to take steps to prevent the breach. The maximum fine that the ICO can impose is £500,000.