Information Commissioner apologises

An appeal against a Monetary Penalty Notice imposed on a business for an alleged breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) has been resolved after the Information Commissioner said she would not oppose it. The IC had imposed a £60,000 monetary penalty on STS Commercial Ltd in July 2018, pursuant to s.55A of the Data Protection Act 1998. The decision was based on her ‘finding’ that STS had allowed its phone lines to be used to send a substantial number of allegedly unsolicited marketing messages. STS filed an appeal in August. It disputed the IC’s decision, relying (as it had done in its previous correspondence with the IC) on Reg 22(3). In its Grounds of Appeal, STS contended that the IC’s decision was based on untenable findings of fact, her decision was not in accordance with the law and was otherwise a flawed exercise of her discretion. In September, and in response to the Grounds of Appeal, the IC informed the First-tier Tribunal that said she would not oppose the appeal. The Monetary Penalty Notice has been set aside. The Information Commissioner has also published an apology to STS Commercial Ltd on the ICO’s website.

Kate Wilson, instructed by Dina Shiloh of Simons Muirhead & Burton, acted for STS Commercial Ltd.