Telemarketing: no more unwanted calls, even on cell phones

After several years of gestation, the new public register of oppositions will finally be launched on July 27, 2022 in Italy. RPO: Instructions for use.

Presidential Decree No 26 of 27 January 2022 (published in the Official Journal on 29 March 2022) extends the scope of the public register of objections (Public Register of Oppositionbelow “RPO”), finally allows users of telephone and / or postal services (excluding electronic mail) to register not only landline telephone numbers and postal addresses appearing in public directories (as hitherto given), but also mobile telephone numbers and “reserved” fixed numbers .

Therefore, a strengthening of the services to enable users to oppose the processing of their data in accordance with Article 21 of the GDPR for the purpose of sending promotional material or direct sales or to carry out market research or commercial communications (including by foreign operators ) by telephone (with or without operator or via automated systems) or by paper mail.

Only processing carried out for statistical purposes by bodies belonging to the national statistical system is excluded from the scope of the RPO.

Terms and deadlines for registration

Users will be able to register for free in RPO in the following ways:

a) By filling out an electronic form on the website of the registry operator;
b) In the case of telephone calls made from the number to which registration is requested;
c) By e-mail, by sending a specific electronic form indicating the number to be registered.

The user who wishes to register several numbers at the same time can only do so according to the methods mentioned in points a) and c).

Registration to RPO will revoke any prior consent given (in any way) for telemarketing purposes and may be renewed at any time (which will revoke any consent given after registration).

Registration can also be revoked at any time, including only selectively in favor of certain operators.

Telephone numbers and postal addresses already registered in the current register will also be automatically entered in the RPO, without prejudice to the possibility of renewing or revoking the registration.

Registration, renewal and revocation of registration will be done by the RPO Manager no later than the first working day after receipt of the request.

Obligations of operators

Attention to operators: more commitments are needed.

First, they are required to register for the RPO by providing:

(i) documentation identifying the operator (natural or legal person);
(ii) only for those performing the processing of data belonging to users by telephone (whether automated or not) a declaration of activation of a line identification system or of a specific code or prefix specified by the Communications Authority (and, if the service is provided by a third party, the latter’s identification data), it is specified that the user must be able to identify the calling line during calls;
(iii) the updated list of users who constitute the source of the personal data to be used.

The RPO administrator will therefore assign the authentication information and authorization profiles within 15 days of registration: The operator’s data will be available on the register’s website for a maximum period of 12 months from the operator’s last consultation of the register (expiry date of the latter’s registration).

Furthermore, operators are required to consult the registry on a monthly basis, or in any case before the start of each promotional campaign, and update their user lists on this occasion. The consultation is valid for 15 days for treatments by telephone and 30 days for treatments by paper mail.

In order to consult the RPO, operators must pay an access fee (on an annual basis or less, depending on needs).

Finally, when contacting users, operators should provide specific information regarding in particular the source of the data and the methods of registration in the register.

Punish

In case of violation of the rules on the right of users to object, the Personal Data Control Authority (Garante Privacy) can impose administrative sanctions on operators of up to EUR 20 million or, for companies, up to 4% of the total world turnover of the previous financial year.

Next step for RPO

Before the RPO enters into force, other “technical” steps are planned: in particular within 60 days of the publication of the decree, ie. by 28 May, the procedures for setting up landline numbers of telephone operators not published in the directories will be defined so that they are entered in the register by default (if they are not already), and within 120 days (27 July); activates the user registration procedures.

But by then, the new system needs to be in place, for greater relief for users and greater responsibility for telemarketing companies.

anne manuel gaillet french lawyer milan

In collaboration with Nicola Lattanzi and Martina Lucchetti, Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati

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