Well, to my shock, the guy from Deane has suddenly started sending more reasonable emails. Up until now almost every email has been somewhat stroppy, in my opinion, and even threatening, but this morning he was being reasonable!
What he has done is raise the very interesting question of section 30(2): "In proceedings brought against a person by virtue of this regulation it
shall be a defence to prove that he had taken such care as in all the
circumstances was reasonably required to comply with the relevant
I have said that I would still want a judge to decide, so not withdrawing the case. It would be a shame if he settled now and avoided court on this really.
The wording is interesting. If I was sending an unsolicited marketing email, what steps could I take to comply with section 22 I wonder?
There is basically no way to tell who is the party to the contract for the communications service. Even an email address that is obviously a work email address or quoted as a work contact could have an individual as the subscriber. So, in my opinion, the only reasonable step one can take in order to comply is not to send any unsolicited marketing emails.
It will be interesting to see what a judge says. What would be worrying is if a judge says that "buying from a list broker that assures you they are business contacts" is a reasonable step, then the regulation becomes pointless. If the judge agrees with me that there is no step you can take then that makes the regulations much more useful. Hopefully we'll see, one way or the other.
P.S. I have emailed the ICO asking what steps someone can take to ensure compliance with section 22.
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