In the ongoing case against Deane Computer Solutions (which is going to court, by the way), the ICO are also involved as I have made a formal complaint to them.
However, the ICO seem a tad confused.
They wrote asking me to confirm I am an individual subscriber, but also stated "It would appear that you work for a Limited Company — Andrews & Arnold Limited who are the registrar for Titanic.co.uk. If Andrews & Arnold own this domain then, then[sic] your email address would belong to a corporate subscriber."
This is plainly wrong for several reasons.
1. The registrar is not the owner, and no relevance. The registrant is the "owner" in so much as anyone "owns" a domain. They do say "if" they own it though, so maybe they have some clue there.
2. They seem to think that the "owner" of a domain has any relevance to the "owner" of an email address, or more importantly to the "subscriber" for the email service on that address. This is plainly not true. I know many people with email addresses ending @btinternet.co.uk, even some with shares in BT and who work for BT, but that does not mean they are "corporate subscribers".
3. That the idea that being shareholder, employee, or director of a limited company somehow stops me being able to have a contract with that company is wrong. I have an employment contract, for a start. Andrews & Arnold Ltd is a separate legal entity to me, and can have a contract with me for email services and could provide that for email addresses under a domain "owned" by Andrews & Arnold Ltd just as it could to someone who is not an employee, shareholder or director of Andrews & Arnold Ltd.
I have, of course, asked them to clarify these issues and will post any reply.
Thankfully, in this case, there is no such confusion as titanic.co.uk is not owned by Andrews & Arnold Ltd. It just happens that the owner uses A&A as a registrar. So we will see how that goes in court. The only defence filed appears to be the continual assertion that firstname.lastname@example.org is not an address of an individual subscriber. Well, I have proof. I have a letter, and invoice, from the email service provider (who is owner of the domain) confirming we have a contract for email services where I act as an individual. If both parties (me and them) agree that we have an agreement, then, pretty much by definition, we have an agreement.
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