Respect the desire of users to no longer be disturbed, make phone calls only with prior specific consent, take appropriate technical and organizational measures to respect the privacy of users. These are some of the prescriptions, in addition to financial penalties, that the Privacy Authority imposed on three call center companies that disturbed tens of thousands of users with unwanted commercial offers.
Following the sanctions to telephone companies that had commissioned call centres to promote campaigns without adequate instructions and controls, the Authority carried out checks on the work of the companies responsible for telemarketing activities.
The complex investigation and inspection of the Guarantor revealed that the three call centres had called many people not included in the official lists provided by the client, using so-called off-list utilities. Off-list telephone numbers were often referred to users who had not provided a free and specific consent to be contacted for commercial promotions or had specifically registered in the Public Opposition Register. Many, among other things, had repeatedly expressed to call centers operators or the contracting company the desire to no longer be disturbed and to be included in the so-called black lists.
Some telephone numbers used for commercial calls, moreover, did not belong to……….., or suggested by some family member or acquaintance, but were of uncertain or unverified
The Guarantor then found the violation of the principle of privacy by design, that is the lack of an adequate government of the processing of data necessary to guarantee the respect of the rights of the interested parties provided for by the EU Regulation (Gdpr).
In calculating the amount of sanctions, the Authority took into account, among the various aspects, the different level of seriousness of the violations committed by the three call centres and the cooperation offered to the Authority, but also the period of serious socio-economic crisis linked to the pandemic emergency.
The first call center committed the most violations. It has, among other things, disturbed a more significant number of people and with a high frequency, so much so that a user has been contacted, despite his opposition, even 155 times in a month. You will then have to pay a penalty of EUR 80,000.
The second call center also presented system problems, particularly regarding the lack of verification of the lawfulness of the data contained in the contact lists purchased by third companies, also in relation to the validity of the consents provided for marketing.
A minor sanction was contested at the third call centre, having used itself to manage the problem of telephone lists……………………………. The company, in the phase of cessation of its activities and voluntary liquidation, will have to pay a penalty of 5,000 euros.
In all three cases, the Guarantor did not consider validly used the legal basis of legitimate interest, prohibited further use for telemarketing of data processed illegally and prescribed the timely adoption of all necessary measures to ensure proper processing, with particular regard to data