Record penalty handed down for New Zealand spamming

Wellington, Feb 13: An Auckland company has been ordered to pay $99,610 in the largest ever penalty imposed for sending spam in New Zealand, authorities said Thursday.

The Department of Internal Affairs said the penalty was imposed at the Auckland High Court on Image Marketing Group (IMG) under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act, reported Xinhua.

IMG sent a total of 519,545 messages to New Zealand e-mail addresses in December 2009, and the following year IMG conducted 21 email campaigns that promoted sales of the company’s database products.

IMG also sent 44,824 text messages from an Australian mobile number to New Zealand mobile phone users over a period of a month in 2009, said a statement from the department.

“IMG must now stop sending any further spam to New Zealand electronic addresses. This is a clear win for consumers who are sick and tired of receiving unwanted messages via email or texts,” team leader electronic messaging compliance Toni Demetriou said in the statement.

IMG had admitted breaching the Act and the penalties included a discount for IMG’s admissions and co-operation.

IANS