Sanctions imposed for unwanted sms and email ads

23 Jul 2018
After examining various complaints submitted by citizens in March, April and June 2018, the Cypriot Commissioner of Personal Data issued the following Decisions imposing sanctions regarding the receipt of unwanted sms and email advertisements based on the legislation that applied before the implementation of the GDPR:
 
  • €500 administrative fine to a University for sending sms messages to a student without providing the option to stop the sending of messages free of charge (i.e. without a free stopsms number).
  • €800 administrative fine on a website which sends newsletters with offers for sending out such emails without the recipient’s consent.
  • €500 administrative fine to a shop for sending sms messages without providing the option to stop the sending of messages free of charge (i.e. without a free stopsms number).
  • €500 administrative fine to a restaurant for sending sms messages without providing the option to stop the sending of messages free of charge (i.e. without a free stopsms number) and €800 monetary penalty to the same restaurant due to the non-cooperation for the provision of requested evidence during the examination of the complaint.
  • €400 administrative fine to a shop for sending advertising sms messages without the consent of the recipient and €1000 administrative fine for the company who provided the services of sending out the said messages as they had the number of the complainant without his consent.
  • €500 administrative fine for sending sms messages of philanthropic content.

It must be highlighted that the fines above were imposed under the previous legislative regime which allowed the Commissioner to apply a fine up to € 30.000, whereas the GDPR, enforced since 25th of May 2018, provides for fines which may up to €20 million or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue of the prior financial year, whichever is higher. It remains to be seen how the fines will be affected in the forthcoming months.
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