On February 20, 2008, the Spanish Data Protection Authority (AEPD) imposed a fine on the company Iniciativas Virtuales for using viral marketing through its website. The AEPD considered that the company had used this “refer-a-friend” tool to send commercial communication and thus violated the requirements of the Spanish Act on Information Society Services and Electronic Commerce (LSSIE). The marketing strategy therefore also violated the “opt-in” principle as set by Directive 2002/58/ EC, transposed into Spanish law by the General Telecommunications Act (LGT). Since it concerned merely one e-mail, the infringement was considered “light” according to Article 38 of LSSIE, and was sanctioned with a fine of €600.

The full text of the ruling is available (in Spanish) at: