The Italian data protection supervisory authority (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali) ordered Vodafone to pay a fine in excess of Euro 12,250,000 on account of having unlawfully processed the personal data of millions of users for telemarketing purposes.
As well as having to pay the fine, the company is required to implement several measures set out by the Garante in order to comply with national and EU data protection legislation.
Investigations revealed the use of fake telephone numbers or numbers that were not registered with the ROC (i.e. the National Consolidated Registry of Communication Operators) in order to place the marketing calls. This practice is under Vodafone’s own spotlight and is seemingly related to a shady set of unauthorised call centres that carry out telemarketing activities in utter disregard of personal data protection legislation.
Additional violations could be established as for the handling of contact lists purchased from external providers.