The Italian Privacy Authority has again ruled on questions of telemarketing determining the obligation for telephone companies to inform both their new and already existing customers about procedures to register with the Public Register of Objections, also known as the Robinson list, which is a list of customers who wish to refuse permission to marketing operators to use their telephone numbers.
As we have already previously reported, with the activation of the Register of Objections, provided for by DPR 178/2010, Italy has switched over to the opt-out system of transmission of marketing phone calls. The new system allows marketing operators to call without customer approval unless customers are registered with the Public Register of Objections.
In order to appropriately inform citizens, the Authority has established that telephone companies must send their customers an information handout with an explanation of the procedures for registering their phone numbers on the Robinson list, namely; by ordinary mail, by freephone number, by e-mail, fax or directly on the website.
The obligation to inform users is provided for by a provision shortly to appear in the Official Gazette.
We should remind you that registration in the Register of Objections can only be made for those telephone numbers that appear in public telephone directories or yellow pages. Therefore, mobile numbers and those numbers which are not in public directories will not be able to benefit from the request to entirely stop marketing calls.
If a user receives further unwanted calls any time after two weeks from registering on the list, he has the right to report the marketing operator to the appropriate Authorities. Should the infringement of the right to objection be confirmed according to the terms set out in d.P.R. 178/2010, the operator would incur a fine of from €30,000 to €180,000, rising to €300,000 in the most severe cases (see law No 162, paragraph 2-quarter of the Privacy Code).