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Company fined £100,000 for sending out millions of 'spam' texts

The company sent out more than three million text messages Credit: ITV

A Hampshire company has been fined £100,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for sending millions of spam texts about mobile phone upgrades.

The ICO’s investigation, informed by more than 1,000 complaints from the public, found Onecom Limited broke the law which sets out strict rules about the consent people must give to receive marketing text messages.

Between 26 October 2015 and 2 June 2016, 1,050 complaints were made to the '7726 spam text reporting service', or directly to the ICO, about the text messages.

Onecom could not provide evidence to the ICO explaining the source of the data used to send the 1,050 text messages. The firm could also not provide evidence that it had consent to send the text messages. Onecom confirmed it had sent 3.3m text messages between 1 October 2015 and 31 March 2016.

Spam texts are a real nuisance to millions of people across the country and this firm’s failure to follow the rules drove over 1,000 people to complain.

I would urge anyone bothered by a spam text to report it, either via the ICO’s website or by forwarding the text to 7726. Your reports will help us crack down on those who fail to treat people’s information with the respect it deserves.

– Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement

Onecom operates in a highly regulated sector and is utterly committed to upholding the highest standards in all our communications with our clients and the public. Consequently we consider this incident to have been most serious and have undertaken an internal review which has resulted in our further tightening our systems and controls to ensure that there is no repetition. We are pleased to note that no subsequent complaints have been received and that the Information Commissioner has acknowledged our remedial measures.

– Darren Ridge, CEO of Onecom


Town's unsung heroes to be celebrated

It's that time of year again when the people of Reading get the chance to celebrate the town's unsung heroes.

Sir John Madejski was among supporters and businesses to attend today's official launch of Pride of Reading.

This year's theme for the awards - now in its 14th year - is technology and innovation.

The ceremony will take place in November and is hosted by TV's Chris Tarrant.

Simon Edgley, Trinity Mirror:

New technology to be tried out at Heathrow

Tne new system will be used at Heathrow Credit: ITV

New technology at Heathrow Airport could mean you will no longer need to show a ticket before boarding a plane. A new scheme is being rolled out where your photo will be taken at security. Then at the gate you will walk through a barrier that recognises you. It's hoped the new scheme will help cut queues and speed up boarding.


Cash could be offered to scrap old diesel cars

Two thousand pounds to trade in your old, polluting diesel car for a greener alternative. That's the deal the government is expected to announce in the next few days - in a bid to cut pollution and boost new car sales.

A 'toxin tax' - to be imposed on drivers entering high pollution zones - is also under consideration.

Environmentalists say Eastbourne and Maidstone are among the worst diesel pollution blackspots in the South East.

But the initiative has angered many motorists. And there's mounting pressure on the government to make the scrappage scheme universal, not selective. Malcolm Shaw reports.

Owners of diesel cars may be paid to trade them in

Owners of diesel cars may be paid to trade them in Credit: ITV

Owners of diesel cars in the most polluted parts of the country may be paid to trade them in as part of government air quality plans.

Proposals for the scrappage scheme are due to be published this week.

Last year Eastbourne was named in the top 10 of the UK's most polluted towns and cities in a report by the World Health Organisation. The scheme is being supported by Dover MP Charlie Elphicke.

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