Companies that sell goods and services will be prohibited from making unwanted commercial calls – popularly known as “spam” – to users who have not previously given their express consent.
These companies may be penalised under the General Telecommunications Law , which was published in the Official State Gazette ( BOE ) on June 29th last year (2022), and which included an article that included this prohibition.
This law will apply if the user who is called has a fixed or mobile number assigned in Spain.
Thus, if the company spams without consent, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection ( AEPD ) may initiate a disciplinary action against the company regardless of where it is located.
In the event that a company markets goods and services in Spain and makes a call from a call centre that is located outside the country, the AEPD may also contact said company.
Specifically, the law establishes that users will have the right “not to receive unwanted calls for commercial communication purposes, unless there is prior consent from the user to receive this type of commercial communication or unless the communication can be based on another basis of legitimation of those provided for in article 6.1 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the processing of personal data”.
This exception, for example, would apply in cases where the call was necessary to protect vital interests , or for the fulfillment of a mission carried out in the public interest, among others.
One of the sectors that makes this type of calls is telecommunications , although it is not the only one.
Telefónica, the main operator in the country, realises that there are regulations to limit this type of call and has ensured that they have always been “enormously respectful” in this regard.
In fact, sources have claimed that calls to non-customers are highly residual.
The Spanish multinational states that it has always promoted compliance with the code of ethics in terms of schedules, practices and of course in the protection of customer data.
In the case of O2 (a Telefónica brand), they state that they do not even make calls to their own clients and certainly not to other members of the public.
The other three operators, Orange, Vodafone and MásMóvil respectively, have not ruled on this matter after being asked by EFE.
For his part, the general director of the DigitalES technology employers’ association, Víctor Calvo-Sotelo, believes that this is one of the different areas in which the new regulations have advanced, although he considers that the sector is one of those that offers “greatest guarantees towards the consumer”.
The right not to receive unwanted commercial calls was introduced into the law during its parliamentary process, after the approval in Congress of an amendment agreed between the PSOE, Unidas Podemos and ERC.
Initially, the bill submitted by the Government to the Courts recognised the right to oppose this type of calls and to be informed about it, something that was already possible through the Robinson list, in which users can register to avoid this type of communication from companies to which they have not given their consent.
This law regulates the sector of electronic communications networks and services and incorporates the relevant European directives into the Spanish legal system.