back to article Marketing biz sent 107 million spam emails... to just 437k people

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 …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge


    ...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.

    1. BobTheIntern

      Re: Seriously?

      But what about poor John and Jane the Janitors, who knew nothing of what was being done in the offices they were paid to clean in the evenings?

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        Probably subcontracted in, assuming that spam operations haven't recognized that spamming from home saves them money. However, I am happy to modify the suggestion for them to specify that it's split among the people who knew that the company was spamming.

  2. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    What a joke

    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.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: What a joke

      Who cares what the number is. They aren't going to collect the money.

      Make sure the amount of the fine is actually paid, then we can discuss if it is high enough.

      1. jollyboyspecial Silver badge

        Re: What a joke

        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.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: What a joke

          If the spammers are using a mailing service fine them jointly and severally. Then it becomes a credit control problem for the mailing service.

        2. Fifth Horseman

          Re: What a joke

          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.

        3. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

          Re: What a joke

          Maybe that fine PLUS each director spends 10 seconds in jail for each email sent? Might be a suitable deterrent and offers a certain resilience about the company declaring itself insolvent or folding.

        4. rafff

          Re: What a joke

          " limited company ... limits the liability of the directors,"...

          but only for civil debt, not for illegal acts. In certain parts or Europe (France IIRC) it is t'other way about.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a joke

      Change the fine to £1 per spam email and watch the spammers move to an entirely new line of business.

      "Legal" advertising?

      Politics? They're already experts in committing crimes and not paying up for it.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All they need is a pair of Transient Interest Tracking Systems, I'm sure it would cost less than a £1 per spam email (as Big Boomer said above) penalty. I think the penalty should be progressive, £1 for 1-10000, £10 for 10001-1000000, and £100 for 1000001-N

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    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.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here Silver badge

      Well, you've got to keep your PECR up, I suppose...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's a Triboo ?

    Is it one of those Star Trek Wars things?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like