American Express Fined For Sending 4 Million Marketing Emails

American Express Fined For Sending 4 Million Marketing Emails

The British privacy regulator ICO has imposed a fine of EUR 104,000 on credit card company American Express for sending four million marketing emails without the recipients' consent.

In the emails, customers were encouraged to make purchases with their credit card, which would benefit American Express financially, the ICO said. "It was a deliberate action by the organization for financial gain." The credit card company did not deal with customer complaints and stated that these were "servicing" mails and that customers would be at a disadvantage if they did not know about these campaigns and promotions.

According to the ICO, it was clear that these were marketing emails. American Express's defense that the emails are part of the agreement it concludes with customers was therefore dismissed by the regulator as unfounded. UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations prohibit the sending of marketing emails unless people have freely consented to this.

If American Express doesn't appeal the fine and pays the amount before June 16 of this year, it will be reduced by 20 percent. The fine then amounts to 83,000 euros converted.

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