Ireland's Office of the Data Protection Commissioner recently announced an agreement with Vodafone under which Vodafone will pay a total of €40,000 ($51,432) to several registered charities to settle complaints that the company violated regulations on unsolicited marketing calls and texts. The commissioner alleged that Vodafone's marketing violated Irish privacy laws. Vodafone must also make goodwill gestures directly to those who lodged complaints with the ODPC, although the nature of these actions was not specified. Vodafone has reportedly implemented additional internal controls and controls over third party sales agents to ensure customer preferences are accurately recorded without delay, and that Vodafone agents refrain marketing products to customers in phone calls made for account management purposes, if customers have opted out of marketing contacts.
Tip: Companies operating in Ireland – as well as elsewhere in Europe – should keep in mind that local requirements exist about the sending of marketing calls and texts, which requirements include obtaining appropriate consents. This case demonstrates that failure to comply with those requirements can result in fines.