個人資料保護辦公室

Gabinete para a Protecção de Dados Pessoais

Office for Personal Data Protection

Updated:2013/12/02
Question:
A magazine publisher often runs surveys and product promotions by making phone calls to citizens’ mobile phones. Is it an intrusion on citizens’ privacy and hence a violation of the Personal Data Protection Act?

Answer:
Whether or not the magazine publisher intrudes on people’s privacy depends on the channels via which it obtains people’s personal data. If it sources people’s contact numbers from public media (for instance phone directory), then the way it obtains data is legal. If it can be proved that publisher derives personal data by illegal means, then it may be established that it has committed a crime. People who receive unsolicited calls from the publisher have the right to demand explanation as to whence or how it obtains their data. They may well exercise their right to objection as provided for in Article 12 of the Personal Data Protection Act, by demanding that the publisher stop using their personal data. If the publisher continues to sell or promote its products by using people’s phone numbers, then it may have committed an administrative offence, judging by the provisions of Article 33 of the Act. In this case, the data subject may lodge complaints with this Office.

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