Telecom Italy fined 840,000 euros for marketing calls without consent

The Garante, Italy’s Data Protection Commission, has issued an administrative fine of Euros 840,000 for breaching Italy’s Privacy Code. Telecom Italia had made promotional telephone calls without consent to former customers who had not given permission to receive marketing calls, or had revoked their consent.

Telecom Italia had been seeking to establish if previous customers had changed their minds about their marketing preferences. The company had contacted its entire database of the so-called "ceased and non-consensual" customers, equal to about 2 million telephone users.

The case, which originally dates back to 2015, came under the spotlight when the Garante received many complaints about Telecom Italia. The Garante says this was a particularly serious offence considering the fact that the company carried out its activities on the basis of an informed choice and not merely negligence. The company has, over the years, been in constant dialogue with the Garante. The level of the fine also reflects the annual turnover of the enterprise, and is one of the highest penalties ever imposed by the Garante. The Garante ended up with the figure of Euros 840,000 by quadrupling the normal, basic level of fine. This level of fines will be possible across the EU when the GDPR enters into force on 25 May.

The decision was issued on 7 February. See (in Italian)