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Subject: RE: UKNM: Unsolicited Email -Reply
From: Jeff Marshall
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 10:44:02 +0100

John Enser wrote:

- Centrica (British Gas) were hauled over the
coals by the data protection registrar for a mailshot about their new
electricity business - they could not even send out something that said
"we'd like to tell you about our electricity business, return the prepaid
card if you don't want to hear about it".

As I understand it, Centrica are a special case because of the way they
built up their database (as a monopoly). They are restricted by the rules
of the de-nationalisation from cross-selling other products and services to
the core database built up as a nationalised institution. If they can build
up a new database from other sources, they can then use that, within the
limits of the new legislation about mail, telephone and fax shots, in the
same way as other commercial organisations. I believe that the special
restrictions were introduced to prevent newly de-nationalised industries
from gaining an unfair advantage over purely commercial competitors.

Jeff Marshall
WorldWide Web Services Limited
(a member of VIA Net Works Inc.)

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