UPC, Vodafone, Eircom and O2 fined for data breaches

21 Mar 2011

Telecoms operators UPC, Vodafone, Eircom and O2 today pleaded guilty to breaches of the Data Protection Act and were fined €15,000 between them at Dublin District Court.

The companies were charged with making unsolicited marketing phone calls and sending unsolicited marketing messages.

UPC was convicted of the largest number of offences and received the biggest fine, having pleaded guilty to 18 counts of breaching the Data Protection Act in relation to four separate complaints.

It is understood that after a letting agent cancelled 56 accounts UPC attempted to contact one of their employees 225 times within three weeks.

UPC was fined €7,100 for the offences.

Vodafone was convicted on five counts of breaching the Data Protection Act for sending unsolicited marketing calls and text messages. It was fined €3,850.

Eircom pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching the Act after a door-to-door salesman contacted a former customer who had been told their name was removed from Eircom’s marketing list. Judge Bridget Reilly imposed the Probation Act and Eircom was ordered to make a donation of €2,000 to charity.

O2 pleaded guilty to one charge for sending a text message to a customer three years after the customer asked not to be contacted. The Probation Act and a €2,000 fine was imposed on O2.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years