The Eir/Imagine Decision

The Data Protection Commissioner recently welcomed the outcome of proceedings initiated by her Office against Eircom, now trading as Eir, and Imagine Telecommunications Business Limited (“Imagine”) for breaching EU law on direct marketing. The proceedings related specifically to breaches of direct marketing rules contained in the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011 (the “Regulations”).

Eir pleaded guilty to six charges of making unsolicited marketing phone calls without consent and one charge of sending a marketing text message to over 11,000 customers without an opt-out option as required under the Regulations. Eir was ordered to donate €35,000 to various charities by 16 December, 2015. Separately, Imagine pleaded guilty to one charge of making an un-solicited marketing phone call without consent and was ordered to donate €2,500 to charity.

Significance of the Decision

Given that much media attention has been on the protection of international data lately, this decision is an indication of how important it is to comply with data protection law at home too. The Commissioner commented that her Office treats offences in relation to electronic marketing without consent extremely seriously and will vigorously prosecute repeat offenders.