Distribution of commercial communications may turn out to be unexpectedly expensive
On 16 May 2017 the Office for Personal Data Protection imposed a fine on a company with the registered office in the town of Most, as a sanction for the distribution of commercial communications. The fine amounts to CZK 4.25 million, which is the highest fine to be imposed yet.
The factors affecting the amount included the frequency of the e-mails, the duration of their distribution and, most importantly, the number of complaints received by the Office for Personal Data Protection regarding this company. In total, over 700 complaints from affected addresses were registered. When deciding upon the fine, the Office also took into account the fact that the company under investigation continued to distribute unsolicited commercial communications even after the inspection had been commenced.
The Office for Personal Data Protection thus demonstrated that it indeed does inquire into the complaints regarding intrusive commercial communications and that it also imposes harsh sanctions on those who fail to comply with the statutory regulations. Fines amounting to several millions of Czech crowns are not as rare in these cases as it may seem, and they are likely to become even more common.
Companies who distribute commercial communications as part of their promotional campaigns should thus always make sure that they do not breach any applicable laws – the inspections by the Office for Personal Data Protection are then nothing to worry about.