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PhonepayPlus new anonymous SMS rules

I had a note in from iTAGG (as an account holder there) to let me know about some new anonymous premium SMS rules from the UK regulator, PhonepayPlus. They go into effect on Friday January 11th 2008.

The iTAGG team are always very hot on making sure their services and service providers adhere to regulator best practice. I thought I’d copy some of the text from their announcement here:

We have this week received important new information from PhonepayPlus (formally ICSTIS) which is relevant to everybody sending premium rate SMS.

As of Friday 11 January 2008, all premium rate Anonymous SMS services will be subject to PhonepayPlus’ (formerly ICSTIS) prior permission.

Anybody operating such a service is required to apply for a PhonepayPlus prior permission licence (through iTAGG) to operate Anonymous SMS services. Services operating without a licence after this date will be considered to be in breach of the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice; iTAGG clients will also be in breach of their contract with iTAGG.
This new provision will apply to all existing and new services.

PhonepayPlus define an Anonymous SMS as follows:

‘An SMS message sent to a recipient’s communications device where either the identity of the message sender, or the identity of the message content provider or author, is withheld from the recipient.’
Please read the relevant PhonepayPlus document for further information.

Does this apply to me?

I do not send any premium rate SMS – ruling does not apply
I provide the identity of my business when I send premium rate SMS – ruling does not apply
I withhold the identity of my business when I send premium rate SMS – ruling does apply

If you’re running anonymous premium text services, it might be worth checking you’re up to date.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

2 replies on “PhonepayPlus new anonymous SMS rules”

the message to the recipient doesn’t have to be premium rate charged – this is aimed at those services where you can send people joke messages like “you’ve been sacked” and change the sender address to appear to be “your boss”.

John, Agreed that those particular services are the things we’re all trying to stop.

However, PhonepayPlus’ remit is to only govern premium rated services. They do not have a remit to govern services that do not use premium rate. So prey tell, how can they intervene if a service doesn’t use premium sms?

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