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SMS text spam plunges in UK as ICO fine spooks PPI pests

John E Dunn | April 22, 2013
The ICO's crackdown on a firm accused of sending huge amounts of payment protection insurance (PPI) SMS spam appears to have caused a marked drop in the number of unwanted messages being received by UK mobile users, figures from security firm Cloudmark show.

Despite the declines in mobile spam, unwanted messages remain a major nuisance for UK consumers, with payday loans now the most often complained about type of message.

Encouragingly, the connection between regulatory action and a drop in SMS spam suggests that the issue of unwanted messages on mobiles does not have to turn into a re-run of what happened in the PC world a decade ago.

"Our data shows that PPI spam complaints make up a significantly lower proportion of the UK SMS spam reports than prior to the ICO action against the spammers in November," confirmed Cloudmark's senior director of security research, Chris Barton.

"This evidence, alongside the impact shown by the FTC's actions in the USA, suggests that regulators have a significant part to play in tackling spammers. We look forward to working with the regulators to continue to combat these threats," he said.


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