Goodbye to commercial calls: New regulations to protect users in Spain

June 29 marked a significant milestone for telecommunications users in Spain, as the modification of article 66 of the General Telecommunications Law came into force . This modification gives consumers the right ” Right to the protection of personal data and privacy in relation to unsolicited communications, traffic and location data and subscriber directories. However, although this measure promises to alleviate the annoying pressure of telephone spam, It is crucial to understand the exceptions and loopholes that could allow these calls to persist.

Spam ban: A step towards consumer protection

The new legislation prohibits companies from making unwanted commercial calls starting June 29, unless they have the express consent of the user . This measure, included in the General Telecommunications Law published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) a year ago, aims to protect the rights and privacy of users against telephone harassment. However, while few consumers believe they have never given consent, the reality is that most contracts we sign include that permission in the smallest details of the text.

The regulations establish sanctions for those companies that violate this prohibition, with the Spanish Data Protection Agency (hereinafter, the “AEPD”) being the entity in charge of ensuring compliance with the law. Fines can amount to up to 100,000 euros, and companies will have the possibility of appealing the sanction if they consider that it has been imposed incorrectly.

Exceptions and “legitimate interest”: The loophole

Although the measure is welcomed, experts warn that there are exceptions that could allow unwanted commercial calls to persist. One of the notable exceptions is the concept of “legitimate interest.”

In this sense, the ambiguity in the term “legitimate interest” has led the AEPD to issue a circular letter to clarify its application. It includes the criteria that will be applied, such as: “ In this way, the text approved by the Cortes Generales… has included the possibility that the communication can be protected by another basis of legitimation than those provided for in Article 6.1 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the processing of personal data. Within these bases of legitimation, legitimate interest is included in letter f): f) the processing is necessary for the satisfaction of legitimate interests pursued by the person responsible for the processing or by a third party, provided that said interests do not prevail over said interests or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the interested party that require the protection of personal data…

The AEPD Circular letter

The circular establishes specific protocols that telemarketing companies must follow, such as identifying themselves to the recipient, indicating the commercial purposes of the call and informing about the possibility of revoking consent. However, some experts point out that these measures may not be enough to fully protect consumers.

Control mechanisms and the role of the AEPD

The AEPD plays a crucial role in compliance with the new regulations. Although the agency acts mainly on complaints from those affected, it is expected to carry out ex officio inspection actions to guarantee compliance with the law by telecommunications companies.

As for users, the possibility of signing up for the Robinson List is still in force, although some consider that it has not been effective in the past. However, with the entry into force of the new law, the AEPD is expected to play a more active role in supervising companies’ practices and imposing sanctions in case of non-compliance.

Conclusions: Protecting consumer rights in the digital age

Despite the exceptions and legal loopholes, the entry into force of the modification of article 66 of the General Telecommunications Law is a significant step to protect consumers from telephone harassment. Transparency in commercial practices, respect for user privacy and the effective application of sanctions are key elements to guarantee the success of these measures. In a constantly evolving digital environment, these regulations are essential to balance commercial interests with fundamental user rights.


This publication does not constitute legal advice. 


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