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Decisions

Decision on objection Thuiswerkcentrale

03-10-2008

On 24 April 2008 the OPTA Commission imposed four fines totalling EUR 510.000 to two Dutch natural persons and two companies Abodata VOF and H.P.T. Development BV for violating Article 11.7 of the Telecommunications Act (spam injunction).

On 6 June 2008 one of the parties, a natural person and the companies Abodata VOF and H.P.T. Development BV of which that person is the proprietor, submitted an objection against OPTA’s decision. The objecting party, which was imposed a total of EUR 240.000 in fines, disputed the allegation of sending the spam messages and objected against the sum of the fine. Furthermore he requested the disclosure of the names of the people who filed a complaint against these messages on www.spamklacht.nl.

Given the nature of his companies’ practices and his collaboration with the actual sender of the spam messages OPTA has obtained sufficient evidence to deem this person to be a violator of the law. OPTA deems the sum of the fine to be proportional, based on the duration of the violation and the purpose of the messages, which was to gain financially through deceit.

OPTA will not disclose the identities of the natural persons behind the complaints for OPTA believes that people with a complaint have the right to have their privacy protected. OPTA has therefore declined the request to reveal the complainants’ identities and have them interrogated by the defendant or his lawyer. The OPTA Commission is concerned the website (www.spamklacht.nl), where complaints about spam can be submitted, will lose its purpose if personal data of complainants would be given to third persons. Moreover the natural person who filed the grievance may not necessarily be the owner of the e-mail address the spam was sent to. OPTA has other methods to link the names to the complaints without discomforting the complainants.

The OPTA Commission therefore deems the objection to be unfounded. The objecting party is allowed to appeal to the district court of Rotterdam within six weeks following the decision.