OCU urges the AEPD to eradicate unsolicited commercial calls

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OCU urges the AEPD to eradicate unsolicited commercial calls

OCU urges the AEPD to eradicate unsolicited commercial calls

The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) has carried out a study to eradicate unsolicited commercial calls which means to verify the real possibility of users to exercise their right to revoke the consent granted for the processing of their personal data for advertising and commercial purposes.

In view of the results of this study, which determined the almost total impossibility for users to actually contact the companies from which they receive commercial calls to exercise the rights granted to them by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the OCU has asked the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) for greater protection for users and has made several proposals aimed at offering a solution to this problem.

Impossibility of communication on the part of users

As we indicated at the beginning of this article, the study carried out by the OCU has concluded that only 0.03% of users who receive commercial calls from different companies are able to contact them again to revoke the consent they had given at the time for the processing of their data for this purpose.

The New General Telecommunications Law already established the prohibition of commercial calls without consent. This regulation includes in its articles the prior consent of the person in question to receive this type of calls.

This happens because the vast majority of the numbers used to make this type of calls are numbers that cannot receive calls or are catalogued as “non-existent”. In addition, in those cases in which the user has never given his consent to the company contacting him and, therefore, requests the identification of the company during the call, the operator hangs up immediately.

 OCU’s proposals to solve the problem of commercial calls

For all of the above reasons, and following the avalanche of complaints from users who are constantly victims of these practices by numerous companies in different sectors, the OCU has submitted to the AEPD various proposals aimed at avoiding the current lack of protection for users, including, among others:

  • The creation of a common register of authorizations or consent to receive commercial calls, in such a way that, if said register is consulted by the interested party, he/she can know to which companies he/she has given his/her consent. This would also oblige the companies in question to consult this register before making commercial calls.
  • With regard to the Robinson List, the OCU considers it appropriate that a renewal be carried out to allow the user who registers to automatically cancel all the consents granted, thus obliging companies to consult this list before making commercial calls. In this regard, failure to consult this list could lead to fines for companies for skipping the Robinson List.
  • Another of the OCU’s proposals is to be able to unequivocally and quickly identify the company that owns the telephone number of the incoming call. To this end, any type of “protection” for telephone numbers linked to a VAT number that makes it difficult to identify the owner without judicial intervention should be cancelled.
  • In addition, it is imperative that all telephone numbers allow the user to call back to that number and be attended by an operator.

In conclusion, the OCU requests the collaboration of the AEPD to implement measures such as those proposed in order to eradicate the current lack of protection suffered by many consumers and users before this type of commercial practices.

At Letslaw, we have extensive experience in data protection matters, so do not hesitate to contact our team of professional data protection lawyers for any queries you may have.

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