On 6 March 2020 the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection (the "Office") imposed a record fine of CZK 6,000,000 (approx. EUR 250,000) on an infringer who spammed almost 500,000 e-mail addresses with unsolicited commercial communication. The infringer, a used-car dealership, had already been fined by the Office for the same delict in the past. When imposing the record fine, the Office considered not only that the infringer is a repeat offender, but also that the number of recipients of the spam was large, and that the failure to comply with the legal requirements regarding collection of contact information and consumer consents to receive commercial communication was a systematic problem rather than an isolated incident. According to the Office, the problem stemmed from the infringer's inability to prove the existence of consumer consents, and the use of insufficient procedures for obtaining them as evidenced by the Office's local investigation. In addition, the Office condemned the behaviour of the infringer, who allegedly deliberately anonymised its database of e-mail addresses so the Office could not properly conduct the inspection, in particular verify legal titles to sending commercial communication. The infringer tried to appeal, claiming that the commercial communication had been sent by a third party and that some of it was not commercial at all; however, the Office upheld its decision in the second instance as well. Fines imposed for spamming in the Czech Republic usually do not exceed CZK 200,000 (approx. EUR 7,500).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.