The UK’s Information Office (ICO) has meted out over £8.7 million in fines since August 2015, including £4.9 million in 2017 alone — a 58% increase over the prior year, according to Business Matters.
The 104 companies were punished by the ICO for breaches of data protection or anti-spam regulations, Business Matters continues.
This apparently includes four companies that allegedly spammed or robo-called consumers. Earlier this month, they were hit with total fines of £600,000.
According to the ICO, the companies are:
The ICO refers to these activities as nuisance marketing.
“Firms cannot get away with failing to follow the rules designed to protect people from the irritation and, on occasions, distress nuisance calls, emails and texts cause,” states Andy Curry, ICO enforcement group manager.
Business Matters attributes the surge in fines to an easier complaint-filing system on the ICO website.
The highst number of consumer complaints was for nuisance phone calls, it adds.