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Data Protection Leader
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Volume: 15 Issue: 2
(February 2018)

Keywords:
direct marketing consent enforcement telemarketing customer data

Jurisdictions:
italy

Italy: Garante fines Telecom Italia €840,000 for unsolicited calls

The Italian data protection authority (‘Garante’) announced, on 7 February 2018, that it had fined Telecom Italia s.p.a. €840,000 for making unsolicited calls in 2015 to around two million former customers who had not given their prior consent to receiving telemarketing calls or had revoked it. The proceedings date back to a decision of the Garante in 2016, which held that Telecom Italia had violated Articles 23, 130(3), 154(1)(c) and 164-bis of the Personal Data Protection Code, Legislative Decree no. 196 of 30 June 2003 (‘the Privacy Code’). After Telecom Italia appealed the decision to the Civil Court of Milan, which was rejected, the Garante proceeded to issue an administrative penalty.

Investigations revealed that Telecom Italia had carried out a ‘consent recovery’ campaign, which involved the use of a database of customers who had opted out, with the intention of verifying former customers’ change of interest and acquiring their future consent. In determining the amount of the fine, the Garante considered the gravity of the violation, annual turnover, and the fact that Telecom Italia had previously been requested to comply with regulations in 2007. The Garante therefore found that Telecom Italia had carried out its activities on the basis of an informed choice and not merely due to negligence.

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