Less Aggressive Electronic Communication
The latest amendment to the Czech Electronic Communications Act supports the construction of high-speed internet networks and introduces important rules to better protect consumers.
One of the most important changes concerns the rules for telemarketing. Previously, contacting of potential customers was based on the opt-out principle. Telemarketing operators were entitled to contact consumers entered into public lists unless they had expressly stated that they are not interested in being contacted for marketing purposes. This has been changed to the opt-in principle. Now, a prior express statement that someone wishes to be contacted for marketing purposes is required. Public lists mean, inter alia, randomly created lists of phone numbers without any other identification details. As a result of this change, “cold calls” shall be eliminated or become at least more difficult. The opt-in principle shall apply also to public lists issued prior to the effectiveness of the amendment to the Electronic Communications Act, but only from July 1, 2022. It is important to add that these changes shall not adversely affect already existing relations with current customers. Entrepreneurs should be still able to offer products to their current customers.
The notorious cookies are also affected by a similar change from the opt-out to the opt-in principle. Cookies might be used only with the prior demonstrable consent to the scope and purpose of the processing provided by the respective user. This does not apply to cookies required for the operation of the website. The changes shall protect consumers from aggressive commercial practices. We expect that the Czech Telecommunication Office will ensure compliance with these rules in the coming period. How effective the enforcement will be, particularly against foreign persons, remains to be seen.
Mgr. Ing. Jan Valíček