15 September 2006

UK - Forbidden text message draws £30,000 fine

A mobile service provider has been fined £30,000 by the premium rate phone regulator over a text message service which charged customers without their permission. Appearing to be a network update, the message charged each user 50p without their knowledge. Opera Telecom has been fined by ICSTIS, though it was only the service provider which administered the sending of the messages and not the company with which they originated. Only service providers, and not content providers, are liable for ICSTIS fines. ICSTIS will be introducing a new code of practice this year which would allow it to fine information providers directly, provided they accept responsibility for breaches.