December 7, 2021

Volume XI, Number 341

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December 07, 2021

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December 06, 2021

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UK Issues Fine for Unsolicited Funeral Marketing Emails

The U.K. data protection authority recently fined a lead generation company £90,000 ($118,000) for a 2017 unsolicited email marketing campaign. The company, Boost Finance Ltd, sent over 4 million emails promoting pre-paid funeral plans under the name findmeafuneralplan.com. In reaching its decision, the ICO (the UK data protection regulator), said that the company violated the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations by sending the messages without consent.

The recipients of the messages were subscribers of websites operated by Boost’s affiliates. While the individuals had, according to Boost, consented with its affiliate sites to receive generic “third party marketing,” the ICO noted that the request for consent did not specifically mention either Boost or findmeafuneralplan.com. The ICO did acknowledge that in one case the subject matter (funeral plans) was mentioned, but neither Boost nor findmeafuneralplan.com were mentioned by name. One site did mention Boost, but it was “embedded in a very lengthy list of organizations.” The sites also did not give individuals the ability to opt-out of marketing from third parties. The ICO concluded that the consents were inadequate, generic, vague and misleading, and as such insufficient to meet the requirements of the law.

Putting it Into Practice: This enforcement demonstrates the type of consent -informed and specific- that the ICO expects companies to receive before sending marketing emails.

Copyright © 2021, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 299
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About this Author

Alyssa Shauer, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm, Century City, Cybersecurity and Litigation Attorney
Associate

Alyssa M. Shauer is an associate in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Century City office. Ms. Shauer is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and a member of Sheppard Mullin’s Privacy Team.

Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Ms. Shauer externed in the chambers of the Honorable Margaret M. Morrow, Central District of California. She served as a Managing Editor of the UCLA Law Review and as Vice President of the Cyber Crimes Symposium and Competition on the Moot Court Honors Board. Prior to law school, Ms. Shauer...

424-288-5305
Liisa Thomas, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm, Chicago, Cybersecurity Law Attorney
Partner

Liisa Thomas, a partner based in the firm’s Chicago and London offices, is Co-Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. Her clients rely on her ability to create clarity in a sea of confusing legal requirements and describe her as “extremely responsive, while providing thoughtful legal analysis combined with real world practical advice.” Liisa is the author of the definitive treatise on data breach, Thomas on Data Breach: A Practical Guide to Handling Worldwide Data Breach Notification, which has been described as “a no-nonsense roadmap for in-house and...

312-499-6335
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