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Dutch companies get fined 660.000 euro for spamming


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 PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:48 am   
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Dutch Telecom regulator OPTA has fined two companies and two persons totaling 660,000 euros (US$ 925.000) for the widespread dissemination of unsolicited e-mail, or spam. As was announced today by ‚ÄčOpta.

According to Opta the parties involved have sent as many as 400 million spam messages. That [amount] was taken in account when the regulator determined the level of the fine.

The e-mail addresses were secured through online surveys and contests from third parties. The visitors were unaware that by joining, they also made their mailbox available for spam.

Parties involved are Digital Magazines and it's holding Riviera Properties Ltd (330,000 euros/US$ 460.000), a person acting under the name of sole proprietorship Mail Garage (110,000 euros/US$ 155.000) and the actual management and (ex) shareholder / director of Digital Magazines (220,000 euros/US$ 310.000).

Source: hXXp://www.volkskrant.nl (Dutch language)


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 PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 12:19 pm   
You are kiillllling-a my bizinisss!
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It would be quite legal in the US. I'm hoping US companies will have to reconsider whether observing the minimum requirements of CAN-SPAM will be sufficient if they don't really know what continent they're spamming.


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 PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:24 pm   
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I don't know much about EU law: I wonder if they can actually collect the Euros after fining them for spamming?


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 PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:31 pm   
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@Alpha Centauri
In the Netherlands the rules indeed seem to be more restrictive than in the USA. Spamming is illegal, unless the receiver has opted-in to receive the messages. If the spam does not contain an opt-out option that is also punishable. A spammer who sents unsolicited mails without an opt-out option will therefore be fined for 2 offences.

Last April OPTA also fined Abor Creative C.V. , and it's proxy, 550.000 euro (US$ 770.000) for sending unsollicited commercial SMS-messages to mobile phones, while the receivers had not opted-in to receive those [spam-] screenshots.

In a case similar to the one disclosed today, OPTA had in July 2009 fined a private person 150.000 euro (US$ 210.000) for sending unsolicited spam. That person has appealed to the court, which court (be it late) on last May 26th confirmed the penalty. OPTA's additional fine of 100.000 euro (US$ 140.000) for not offering an opt-out option was annulled, because the court found that OPTA had not carried out specific investigations into that violation, and had not produced sufficient evidence.

@Meep
Of course people may postpone payment of fines by appeals, but eventually payment of the confirmed fines will be enforced.

OPTA does have webpages in English at opta.nl/en, but at first glance, that does not seem to provide 'news'. The information above, was taken from OPTA's consumer-site spamklacht.nl, which provides customer information about spam and spam-reporting.


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