nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

back to article
ICO slaps cab app chaps for 10-day spam crap

Anonymous Coward

I get that Cab Guru get a fine but what about the taxi companies?

10
0
Silver badge

re: What about the taxi companies?

Exactly that point - if the cab companies (or any other organisation) got a serious financial slap for spaffing customer data to their "carefully selected partner companies" in exchange for a few quid, without the explicit consent of the customers then maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't spend half our lives being hounded by marketing we never wanted and were compelled to agree to in order to access a service, once.

*You can opt out at any point** by contacting us

**except the point where you sign up and agree to these terms and conditions...

13
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: re: What about the taxi companies?

I suppose this will be covered by the GDPR?

4
0

Re: re: What about the taxi companies?

Yes, it will, but as ever, having something illegal in law,is one thing, but having the resources in the government bodies to investigate/prosecute is a different matter.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: re: What about the taxi companies?

"I suppose this will be covered by the GDPR?"

Isn't it already covered by the DPA?

2
0
Silver badge

Re: re: What about the taxi companies?

Having it illegal in law is plenty.

AS LONG as the law also has statutory damages and a right of private action.

This kind of provision means that instead of _maybe_ facing investigation and $FINE from $GOVERNMENT_DEPARTMENT, firms which play fast and loose with privacy will find themselves facing the much more painful prospect of the death of a million papercuts, via small claims courts.

These provisions are why the USA's TCPA effectively stopped marketing faxes cold in the 1990s (the remaining outfits like fax.com were flat-out criminal and spent most of their time trying to evade the FCC, meaning they spent less time selling services to gullible customers) - it also turned out to be extremely effective against telemarketers who wouldn't stop calling and eliminated prerecorded calls almost entirely (there were exceptions for religion and charity calls).

The law made the marketers and the people hiring them joint and severally liable for breaches, which firstly discourages XYZ widget firm from simply finding another marketer when the one they use goes under, but also means that in the case of forged caller data (which is a wilful violation and triple damages), there's still a locally identifiable litigation target.

All of this stuff is illegal in the UK too, but with the chances of actually appearing in the ICO's crosshairs, businesses treat any fines as a cost of doing business.

The most telling part of the ICO's real stance is their pointed silence when people start raising the issue of private rights of action and statutory damages - which would help them in their own cases as at least one fine they imposed was slashed on appeal, specifically because the judge agreed with the marketer that the levels of distress imposed were unproven, therefore could not be valued monetarily.

0
0
Bronze badge

Que 'Cab Guru' closing and re-opening with a different name.

3
0
Silver badge

Cue a puzzled "Que?".

5
0
Silver badge

Que?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Que guevara?

3
0

Que sera sera?

4
0
Bronze badge

Ah yes.. I was rushing and not thinking!

3
0
Bronze badge

cue Johnny Nash ...

There are more Que's tions than answers.

Now, if only the Govt. would do something about the multitude of Curry/Pizza flyers shoved through my door on an a weekly, nay make that daily basis.

Weird sort of humour they have: Large Pizza, some chips, err fries, and 2l of Coke for ONLY £19.99

2
0
Silver badge

Re: cue Johnny Nash ...

"Now, if only the Govt. would do something about the multitude of Curry/Pizza flyers shoved through my door on an a weekly, nay make that daily basis."

There are a number of things that you can do about that:

Start here: https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/293/~/how-do-i-opt-out-of-receiving-any-leaflets-or-unaddressed-promotional-material

And then proceed to: https://www.mpsonline.org.uk/

And finally: Put a "No unaddressed mail" label on your mailbox.

Yes, in the UK those pizza leaflets are almost entirely delivered by Royal Mail.

0
0
Silver badge

Not the greatest business move?

Why would a cab company give details of its customers to a firm that will then use them to get them to use a service to recommend a cheaper cab company.

Not just a bad move from a privacy point of view but also a bad move in understanding the value of your own customer base.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Not the greatest business move?

According to the ICO post the firm was set up by the cab companies to create/run the app. I suspect they (erroneously) thought that because of that, passing on the data to the new company was okay.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Not the greatest business move?

Probably because they consider Über to be their main competition, and it is better for them to have their customers use this app rather than Über's where they will get no business at all.

3
0
Silver badge

And this is why people we have spam.

"360,373 of them being delivered... and 166 people complained about the spam."

So only roughly 4.5% bothered to complain.

90% probably moaned about spam texts and did nothing*

5.5% probably downloaded the bloody thing*

* made up stats, but you get the idea.

Forward to 7726 (SPAM). Maybe need to reply to text received off carrier.

Done.

Not hard really.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: And this is why people we have spam.

Because if everyone complained about every spam, nobody - spammers or complainers - would ever get anything done.

Also, how do you complain? Forward the text? Who to? Though there are some places that will take them (like 7726), they are not the same on each network and there is no definitive "ICO" on where you can report text spam (because they would INUNDATED IN SECONDS). And reporting to that number does NOTHING. I once got the same text weeks apart from the same number, reported as spam, no action or response.

Also, forwarding the text doesn't forward where you received it from (making it practically useless in my opinion), or whether that number was even genuine.

And, literally, nothing happens. I've reported dozens of obvious spam (i.e. my phone number just doesn't exist out there, but somehow people get it and text it with spam) and nothing happens, no response, all the companies/ombusdman involved say "Don't bother sending it to us", practically.

To be honest, 4.5% complaining seems HIGH. I imagine the rest just deleted the text. Which is fine if it's one text. But what if it's 20 from different companies? And if it's 20, how long does it take to complain about those 20?

Sorry, but although I am a champion complainer when I think I can get action on something, text spam just isn't worth my time.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: And this is why people we have spam.

Maybe the ICO should develop an app where you can send them any spam texts you receive or you could write an app that emailed all the details to them for you. That would actually be a good deterrent.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: And this is why people we have spam.

" Forward the text? Who to? Though there are some places that will take them (like 7726), they are not the same on each network and there is no definitive "ICO" on where you can report text spam (because they would INUNDATED IN SECONDS)."

ISTR that there is a section on the ICO website for reporting spam texts. I don't think I've ever used it, though. The rare occasions I've received SMS spam I've forwarded it to 87726 (the Vodafone variation on that number). TBH, I've shown other people the necessary steps far more often than I've had to do it myself.

(A quick check my message logs, and I can see I've done it once on my current phone, on 19th July 2016.)

"Also, forwarding the text doesn't forward where you received it from (making it practically useless in my opinion), or whether that number was even genuine."

I can't comment on other networks, but on Vodafone you get a reply asking for the number the text was (or claims to have been) received from - so if there is one, you just copy and paste it from the original message info. ISTR my step dad having one with no number, so I told him to reply with 'number unknown'.

I also have a 'contact' set up called 'Spammers' - to which I add cold callers and the number from spam texts. Any subsequent messages with the same number will therefore have the name 'Spammers' attached but...

"And, literally, nothing happens."

...that's exactly what happened - in that I've never received another text from that same number (and, as I've said, no other spammy texts).

FWIW The only other number in that contact is a cold caller from March this year. I thought I reported that via the ICO, but I appear to have no record of doing so. Perhaps the call happened while I was out and I intended to reported it, but forgot by the time I was home. (I've had my current phone for approaching two years.)

"To be honest, 4.5% complaining seems HIGH."

Agreed - 4.5% is, IMO, very optimistic. Unfortunately.

"I imagine the rest just deleted the text. Which is fine if it's one text. But what if it's 20 from different companies? And if it's 20, how long does it take to complain about those 20?"

The point I make when I tell people to complain/forward is that the 'one text' they would otherwise delete could become ten, twenty, more if people do nothing.

1
0
Silver badge

Shift your decimal point a couple of places to the left

360,373 of them being delivered... and 166 people complained about the spam."

So only roughly 4.5% bothered to complain.

166 x 100 / 360,373 makes 0.046 %

4
0
Silver badge

Re: And this is why people we have spam.

4.5% is, IMO, very optimistic. Unfortunately.

As calculated in my other post: 0.046 %

Very low, but probably more typical.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: And this is why people we have spam.

@VinceH

You want more people to report spam? Easy.

Make it so that a portion of the fine (if there is one) is split amongst everyone who reported the spam. If there are too many people or the money is too low to divide it sensibly, have a draw to determine the winner (or lucky 3 or whatever).

You'd get shitloads of reports then.

Hmm, you'd probably also get a load of malicious reports too.

0
0
Facepalm

Exchange rate

$2.8M = £3.7M! Blimey, I didn't realise the £ had dropped so much.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Taxiiiiii

See title

0
0
Silver badge

baking consent into T&C

Should be made specifically illegal.

It is in the USA, land of the marketer, home of the spammer.

0
0

The big problem of modern ICO market is the amount of scam. That imo is the reason why some countries like Russia or China ban ICOs.

I think the best way to make the situation more clear is to give the opportunity ti start ICO to the companies with the background like Doft, which started ICO being the established logistics company.

0
0

POST COMMENT House rules

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

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing