...a £130,000  fine...
That is a £0.0012 fine per spam mail. What a joke.
What about 130.000 days in jail for the combined employees of the firm? Evenly distributed according to the effective size of the pay check.
A recruitment business that sent out an eye watering 107 million spam emails is now nursing a £130,000 ($161,000) fine from Britain’s data watchdog. London-based Join The Triboo Limited (JTT) dispatched the spams to some 437,324 people between August 2019 and August 2020, meaning the lucky recipients would have found an …
Change the fine to £1 per spam email and watch the spammers move to an entirely new line of business. The fines levied are so low that the industry treats them as the cost of doing business. Also about time that company directors are held directly liable for the illegal actions of the companies under their control.
It's often the case that these kinds of companies are merely shells. In these cases a fine is usually enough to prompt the directors to declare the company bankrupt. In such cases it's long been my belief that the directors should be prosecuted.
Yes I know the whole point of a limited company is that it limits the liability of the directors, however I don't think this should be the case where fines are levied. Were it the case that directors became personally liable for such fines upon voluntary liquidation of the company I think a lot of these quite obviously deliberate breaches of the rules would stop overnight.
Directors of limited companies *can* be held liable for company debts in a variety of scenarios - deliberately committing a fraudulent act and "acting in bad faith" being two that I would argue apply in this case. I imagine the number of times this happens in practice is vanishingly small though. Having spent a couple of decades tangentially involved with the family electrical contracting business. abusing limited liability protection sadly seemed to be business as usual in some parts of the building trade, and I never saw anybody brought to book for it.
As long as spam is cheap and the expense of dealing with it falls on the recipient this sort of thing will continue.
The solution here is to require the spammer to pay a reasonable amount, say several £ to the recipient for their trouble in dealing with it. I've used the threat of that to stop a snail-mailer who simply couldn't grasp that having their mail to a former tenant returned as "No longer at this address" meant that they were misaddressing it.
We should regard spam - snail mail, email or phone - as pollution and apply the "Polluter pays" principle where payment is the economic cost of dealing with it, not a small fine.
Under the new Information Commissioner the ICO seems to have become somewhat more interested in spontaneous investigation, but the emphasis is still almost entirely on PECR and data breaches. There's never been (and still isn't) any clear indication of significant attention to infringements of the rights and freedoms of data subjects outside these two areas. That's a pity as it reduces the GDPR to data law, whereas in reality it was intended to be human rights law in relation to data. Unfortunately, current govt. proposals for the new UK legislation will support that reduced interpretation to the hilt.