The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Great Britain’s privacy watchdog, has fined the Brexit campaign group Vote Leave a £ 40,000 for sending spam messages by SMS.
The pro-Brexit group sent more than 196,000 text messages in the run-up to the British referendum in 2016, but could not prove that the recipients had given their consent.
The British privacy watchdog claims to have received 26 complaints about the text messages in 2016 in the run-up to the referendum. From the weekend before the referendum on 23 June and a few weeks later, the ICO received another six complaints.
Vote Leave stated in response to the investigation that the group of individuals did indeed have permission to send the text messages, but that this data was deleted after the Brexit referendum. The ICO finds this statement insufficient.