No more annoying calls. MPs finally put an end to telemarketing
Author of comment: Mgr. Michal Nulíček, LL.M.
Companies will only be able to call people who have explicitly agreed to it in advance. Under the current rules, it is the other way around.
MPs have finally approved an amendment to the Electronic Communications Act. Among other things, it is intended to change the situation surrounding cold calling for marketing purposes. The aim is to put an end to nuisance calls offering, for example, cheaper energy or “irresistible” investments. The amendment was approved by MPs in its original parliamentary version, rejecting Senate interventions, which included relaxed rules on telemarketing.
The law, which will take effect at the start of 2022, automatically assumes no one wants to receive such calls. Companies will only be able to call people who give consent in advance to their electronic communications provider, most often a mobile phone operator. Representatives of call centers have protested against these rules – they fear for their business and that the new rules will be difficult to enforce in practice.
Today, the opposite rules apply: companies can call whoever they want with offers, as long as the electronic communications service provider does not have a record in its register that the person does not want to receive such calls. So you can already now tell your operator that you do not want to be targeted by telemarketing – and it will record this in a “subscriber list”.
The new law is intended to turn the situation around. It will automatically assume that no one agrees to telemarketing. If someone wants unsolicited offers, they will have to tell their operator. Even with the new rules, you can then be contacted by companies you already have a contractual relationship with. This means your bank or phone operator will still be able to offer you a new loan or tariff, for example. The Czech Telecommunications Authority and the Office for Personal Data Protection will continue to deal with complaints about breaches of the rules.
The amendment also establishes the same principle for website operators, especially in the area of personal data processing. The so-called opt-in regime is introduced here for cookies and other tracking technologies. Under the amendment, websites will not be able to automatically collect information about visitors, but must first obtain active consent from them. Today, the way it usually works is that the site tracks you and just asks for consent.
“This complicates things considerably for website operators, who will no longer be able to rely on the passivity of users. Their active consent will be required. This basically means preparing new consent texts and lists of third parties to whom the data obtained from cookies will be transferred for marketing purposes,” explains Michal Nulíček, partner at Rowan Legal.
Read the full article here. The article is in Czech.