個人資料保護辦公室

Gabinete para a Protecção de Dados Pessoais

Office for Personal Data Protection

Enquiry Case Notes
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No: 0160/C/2012

Title: Recording phone calls for teachings, and ensuring the research quality and safeguarding the interests of both parties

Content:

    Company A conducted a telephone survey and recorded the phone calls for teachings and ensuring the research quality and safeguarding the interests of both parties. Company A consulted the GPDP whether the above conforms to the Personal Data Protection Act (Law 8/2005).

Result:

    As Company A failed to provide detailed and specific information about the case, the GPDP could only provide the following opinions based on general personal data processing:
  According to Articles 4(1)(1) as well as 3(1) of the Personal Data Protection Act, the data processing in the current enquiry is subject to the same Law.
  In addition, under Article 6 of the same Law, Company A, for teachings and ensuring the research quality and safeguarding the interests of both parties, should only start recording phone calls on the basis of data subjects consent. Otherwise, according to Article 33 of the Law previously mentioned, it will constitute administrative offence for its illegitimacy. In addition, recording without the consent of data subjects may also violate other laws (for example, constituting the “unlawful recordings and photos” given in Article 191 of the Penal Code).
  Moreover, generally, the purposes of “teaching” and “ensuring the research quality and safeguarding the interests of both sides” are purposes of different sorts. To avoid damaging the rights of the data subjects, Company A should ensure that while the data subjects give their consent to record their calls for “ensuring research quality and safeguarding both parties’ interests”, also they could freely agree, or disagree, to such recordings for teaching purposes. If not, the consent given is considered as invalid.
  At the same time, even if a data subject has agreed his recordings to be used for teaching purposes, but in special circumstances, their identities could be identified. Generally speaking, speakers’ identities are not important to teachings; therefore, proper measures (voice processing, for instance) should be introduced to avoid data subjects being identified.
  The GPDP is of the opinion that generally phone recordings should not be used for teachings. It is recommended adopt other methods (for example, simulated phone conversations) for trainings and teachings. *
  At last, under Articles 10 to 12 of the Personal Data Protection Act, Company A should ensure the rights of data subject’s, such as the right to information, the right of access, the right of objection, etc.

Reference:
Please refer to "Personal Data Protection Act", articles 3,4,6,10,11,12,33 .

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