On 2 November 2015, the Office Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) welcomed the outcome of prosecution proceedings which concluded at Dublin Metropolitan District Court. The ODPC had initiated proceedings against telecommunications companies, Eircom, now trading as Eir, and Imagine Telecommunications Business Limited (Imagine).
Counsel for Eir pleaded guilty to six charges of making unsolicited marketing phone calls without consent and one charge of sending a marketing SMS to over 11,000 customers, without the inclusion of an "an opt out" message as required.
In what is now the highest financial imposition enforced on any company in relation to marketing offences under Regulation 13 of the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks And Services) (Privacy And Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011, Eir were ordered make a donation of a total of €35,000 by 16 December 2015, split between three charities, following which the Probation of Offenders Act will be applied.
Imagine pleaded guilty to one charge of making an unsolicited marketing phone call without consent and were ordered to donate €2,500 to Merchant's Quay Ireland also by 16 December 2015. Eir and Imagine have agreed to cover all costs incurred by the ODPC in bringing prosecutions. Commenting on the prosecution, Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon emphasized that her Office treats these offences extremely seriously; viewing data protection as the citizen's fundamental right to privacy. The high sums imposed should be viewed as a clear message to telcos, that unsolicited marketing is unacceptable.