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Measures Concerning Itemised Billing - 13 March 2008

[doc. web n. 1522362]
[doc. web n. 
1501106 Bollette telefoniche: anche le ultime tre cifre potranno essere "in chiaro" - 13 marzo 2008]

 

Measures Concerning Itemised Billing - Decision dated 13 March 2008

IL GARANTE PER LA PROTEZIONE DEI DATI PERSONALI

Having convened today, in the presence of Prof. Francesco Pizzetti, President, Mr. Giuseppe Chiaravalloti, Vice-President, Mr. Mauro Paissan and Mr. Giuseppe Fortunato, Members, and Mr. Giovanni Buttarelli, Secretary General;

Having regard to the personal data protection code (legislative decree no. 196 dated 30 June 2003, hereinafter referred to as the "Code");

Having regard to the provision issued by the Italian DPA on 5 October 1998 (in www.garanteprivacy.it, doc. No. 40751) whereby providers of publicly available electronic communications services were required not to disclose the final three digits of called phone numbers in itemised bills; having regard additionally to the opinion rendered on this point by the Italian DPA to the Ministry of Communications on 5 October 1999 (www.garanteprivacy.it, doc. No. 39881);

Having regard to section 124(4) of the Code, whereby the final three digits of called numbers shall not be shown in subscriber bills;

Having regard to section 124(2) of the Code, whereby providers of publicly available electronic communications services shall be required to enable users to perform communications and request services from any terminal equipment - free of charge and using simple means – by availing themselves of alternative payment methods, including anonymous methods, such as credit cards, debit cards or pre-paid cards;

Whereas section 124(5) of the Code provides that the Garante may authorise a provider to report called numbers in full in the itemised bills requested by subscribers, having established that the aforementioned alternative payment methods as referred to in paragraph 2 are actually available;

Having regard to the preparatory inquiries carried out by the Italian DPA during 2007 in order to assess compliance with personal data protection legislation as for the actual, widespread availability to users and subscribers of alternative payment methods, also requiring no personal information, pursuant to section 124(2) of the Code;

Having regard to the acquired information, whereby the main providers of publicly available electronic communications services have certified, under their own responsibility, that they had enabled the respective users to perform communications and request services with the help of alternative payment methods;

Having considered that most of the aforementioned providers have also certified, under their own responsibility, that they had made available, on the national territory, alternative payment methods, also requiring no personal information, such as code-based and pre-paid cards, or else that they had enabled their users to avail themselves of debit and/or credit cards; considering, moreover, that the providers have also certified that the cards in question can be used and are distributed all over the national territory, since they can be purchased at tobacconists´ and/or newsagents´, via websites, ATM points and SISAL and/or Lottomatica sales points as well as at the individual providers´ retail stores;

Whereas the preparatory inquiries in question have shown that additional alternative payment methods are made available by entities other than providers of electronic communications services (e.g. by Poste Italiane S.p.A.) on top of those made available directly by the said providers;

Whereas the information acquired in the course of the said preparatory inquiries shows additionally that the use of mobile telephony has grown impressively over the period in which blanking of the final three digits has been in force; whereas this applies, in particular, to so-called pre-paid mobile telephony, which provides as such an alternative payment method – to date, there are over 80 million active lines, of which 89% work under pre-paid arrangements;

Having regard to the contribution dated 6 February 2008 as submitted by the trade association that represents the main providers of telecommunication services (Assotelecomunicazioni-Asstel);

Whereas the conditions to adopt a general authorisation applying to providers of publicly available electronic communications services under the terms of section 124(5) of the Code are currently fulfilled, given that the said providers have enabled their users to perform communications and request services by means of the aforementioned alternative payment methods;

Whereas the data contained in itemised bills relate to the calling party´s, the subscriber´s, and the called party´s private lives; whereas it is necessary to reconcile the respective rights and accordingly adopt this authorisation in pursuance of section 124(5) of the Code;

Whereas the providers of publicly available electronic communications services intending to avail themselves of the option set forth in the law as well as herein shall inform all the respective subscribers beforehand of their decision to make use of such option via an appropriate information notice, which shall be included in at least two bills as well as in the respective web sites;

Whereas a company that avails itself of this authorisation is required in all cases to enable its subscribers to receive itemised bills with blanking of the final three digits, where they so request;

Whereas the providers´ information notice shall have to specify that the subscribers who have requested or plan to request itemised bills will receive their bills without blanked digits; whereas the said information notice will have to include an invitation to the effect that subscribers should inform users of the lines owned by them that the relevant itemised bills will include the called numbers in full; whereas subscribers will have to be also informed that, upon specific request, they may receive itemised bills with blanking of the final three digits;

Whereas, further to the request made by Assotelecomunicazioni-Asstel for setting a single date applying to all telecom operators, it is appropriate to set July 1st, 2008 as the date after which all the providers of publicly available electronic communications services may report the called numbers in full in itemised bills, providing they have enabled the respective users to perform calls and request services under the terms mentioned above;

Whereas a copy of this decision shall be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, also with a view to its publication in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic under the responsibility of Ufficio pubblicazione leggi e decreti [Legislation Publishing Department], as well as to Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni [Authority for Communications Safeguards] in order for the latter to be informed as appropriate;

Having regard to the records on file;

Having regard to the considerations by the office as made by the Secretary General in pursuance of section 15 of the Garante´s Rules of Procedure no. 1/2000 dated 28 June 2000;

Acting on the report submitted by Prof. Francesco Pizzetti;

Now, therefore, the Garante

a. authorises, under section 124(5) of the Code, as from 1 July 2008, all the providers of publicly available electronic communications services to report the full numbers of communications in the itemised bills requested by their customers, on condition they have enabled their users to perform communications and request services from any terminal by availing themselves of payment methods other than billing, and on condition they provide all their subscribers  with appropriate information notices to be included in at least two bills and posted on the providers´ web sites. The said information notices shall

  • refer to the provider´s decision to make use of this authorisation, whereby all the subscribers that have requested and/or will request itemised bills will receive such bills without any blanked digits, unless they request that the final three digits be blanked;
  • include an invitation addressed to all the subscribers that have requested and/or will request itemised bills without any blanked digits, to the effect that they should inform the users of the lines owned by them that the itemised bills will report all the called numbers in full;

b. orders, under section 143(2) of the Code, that a copy of this decision be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice also with a view to its publication in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic under the responsibility of Ufficio pubblicazione leggi e decreti [Legislation Publishing Department], as well as to Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni [Authority for Communications Safeguards] in order for the latter to be informed as appropriate.


Done in Rome, this 13th day of March 2008   

The President
PIZZETTI

The Rapporteur
PIZZETTI

The Secretary General
BUTTARELLI