Finland: Continued ban on telemarketing of mobile phone connections proposed

NordenBladet — The Government proposes to prolong for a further three years temporary provisions concerning a prohibition on telemarketing of mobile phone connections, and governing confidential processing of radio communication traffic data for use in trials.

The temporary ban on telemarketing of mobile phone connections would be prolonged in its current form as of 2 July 2021, and would continue until 1 July 2024. The ban on telemarketing of mobile phone connections seeks to protect consumers from disruptive marketing practices.

The current marketing ban only allows direct marketing of mobile phone subscriptions to a consumer by telephone when the consumer explicitly request such marketing. The ban does not apply to existing mobile phone customers of a telecommunications operator. Telemarketing of subscriptions was first banned in 2012.

Temporary provisions on radio communication will enable new business
Provisions governing the definition of radio communication traffic data and the confidentiality of radio communications would also be prolonged in their current form from 21 June 2021 to 20 June 2024. Radio communication traffic data include the time and place of communication.

The temporary provisions governing the confidentiality of radio communications have clarified regulation, enabling the processing and use of anonymised radio communication traffic data for such purposes as mobility analysis and controlling the use of uncrewed aerial vehicles.

Regulation has also established conditions for new information-based business models. A need to process anonymised radio communication traffic data has been recognised at such locations as shopping centres, airports and railway stations, where monitoring customer flows could be useful for enhancing operations.Regulation accommodates the need to avoid compromising the fundamental right to protection of private life, so anonymised traffic data could not be used to identify and track an individual, for example. Data protection aspects, such as safeguarding the confidentiality of communications, and protecting personal data and private life, normally extend not only to the content of messages, but also to electronic communication traffic data.

What are the next steps?
The Government submitted a proposal to amend the Information Society Code on 15 April 2021. The amendments would prolong for a further three years temporary provisions concerning a prohibition on telemarketing of mobile phone connections and confidential processing of radio communication traffic data for use in trials.A preliminary debate will be held on the bill that the Government has now submitted to Parliament. The timetable for the debate will be announced on the website of Parliament (upcoming plenary sessions).

The Bill will then be referred to a parliamentary committee and reconsidered in a plenary session after the committee reports its findings.

Enquiries:Eero Salojärvi, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 577 3284 (mobile phone subscriptions)Tomi Paavola, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 303 6506 (radio communications)Press release, 24 March 2021: Memorandum on the retention of electronic communication traffic data submitted for statements
Finnish Government plenary session working documents (in Finnish)

 


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