A company email fundraising scheme which raised €150,000 for a St Vincent de Paul charity event in Ireland has been ruled to have been in violation of the Data Protection Act.
Energy company Bord Gais sent an email to online customers seeking donations to the charity. After a complaint from a customer, the company was taken to court by the Data Protection Commission.
The customer said because the email was unsolicited and he had opted out of online marketing it was a breach of privacy and electronic communications regulations. Despite apologising and offering free tickets for a Bord Gais sponsored event the court ruled that the company breached the regulations governing data protection.
According to the Irish Examiner, the company said it would be sending no further charity marketing emails but was ‘shocked’ that it had been taken to court by the Data Protection Commission.
The judge in the case ordered Bord Gais to make a €750 contribution to St Vincent de Paul and he would record a “no conviction” verdict against the company.
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