The ICO is in charge of amongst other things managing spam complaints here in the UK. It’s a government organisation funded partly by businesses paying them an annual fee.
I was recently subject to some spam from a recruitment company. After numerous requests for them to stop sending me their generic “we’ll find you the best employees in the world for the bargain basement price of your left arm and a leg of your choosing” I’d had enough and wrote off to the ICO to complain about them.
I was diligent and carefully submitted evidence of the spam to the ICO and waiting three weeks each time for them to respond. On both occasions they advised me that my attachments were not getting through and suggest I used snail mail. So I printed them off and sent them via recorded delivery.
Another three weeks passes and I finally receive a response. Here’s an excerpt:
Firstly, I must clarify some information given on your complaint form. When asked about the email account that you are receiving the marketing messages to, you have stated that the email address that these emails are being sent to is your own private account not that of a limited company. Can you confirm that this is correct, I will explain below why this is important.
Uhoh…this isn’t going to end well…
…if you work for a corporate body, such as a limited company, and are receiving unsolicited marketing emails to your work email address, there is no enforceable opt-out right provided by these regulations.
So basically, the ICO is powerless. Mind. Blown. What’s most annoying about this is that due to spam a large number of e-mails I actually wish to receive are automatically junked while the e-mail I don’t wish to receive fills my inbox. Which leads me on to the subject of my next post due next week entitled – why did you spend a fortune writing your new web app if the e-mails your site generates are getting spammed?