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Data Protection

Vodafone to pay €40k to charity to settle marketing breach

The Data Protection Commissioner settles a complaint with Vodafone over breaches of laws on unsolicited marketing.

TELECOMS GIANT VODAFONE is to pay €40,000 to Irish charities to settle a case taken by the Data Protection Commission over breaches of Ireland’s laws relating to unsolicited marketing communications.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) said Vodafone had issued marketing communications in breach regulations relating to electronic marketing signed into law by communications minister Pat Rabbitte in July of last year.

That regulation bans the use of automated calling machines to contact subscribers or users unless they have specifically opted-in to receiving that contact.

The DPC said Vodafone had “cooperated fully” with its investigation into the breaches and that it had agreed to close the case as a result of Vodafone’s agreement to contribute €40,000 to a number of Irish-registered charities.

“In order to ensure that these errors do not reoccur, Vodafone has put in place additional controls internally and with third party sales agents to ensure that customer preferences are accurately recorded without delay,” the DPC said in a statement.

The phone operator has also agreed to ensure that its agents do not make phone calls to customers who have actively chosen not to accept any telephone contact “made for account management purposes”.

Vodafone is also to make “goodwill gestures” to the users who had lodged the original complaint with the DPC.

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