Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament discussed and approved the bill amending the Electronic Communications Act. The bill is introduced as a transposition of a European directive called the European Electronic Communications Code (“Code”). The bill, which is set to come into effect at the beginning of 2022, automatically assumes that nobody wants to receive telemarketing calls. Companies will only be able to make such calls to persons who have given their consent in advance to their electronic communications service provider, most often their mobile operator.
Currently, the companies may call with offers to anyone who has not explicitly registered with their electronic communications service provider that he does not wish to receive such calls – in practice however, this option is not generally known by people and those most affected (in particular elderly people) by telemarketing are not using it. The bill is intended to turn the situation around. If someone is interested in telemarketing, he / she will need to actively announce that to his mobile operator. However, even if this bill is going to pass, people may still be contacted by companies they already have a contractual relationship with.
The bill also regulates the area of internet and website operators – in particular personal data processing. It introduces a so-called opt-in regime for cookies and internet tracking technologies, prohibiting an automatic collecting of information about website visitors. Under the new proposed regulation, websites operators will need to obtain the visitor’s active consent first.
Last but not least, the bill implements into Czech law the regulations contained in the Code that should enable the designation of new frequency bands for 5G networks and ensure single market and a level playing field.
The new regulation aims to bring the legislation closer to European standards and to strengthen consumer protection. However, the Senate currently returned the bill with amendment proposals, including deletion of the part related to the abovementioned restriction of unsolicited telemarketing calls. The bill is thus now going to be discussed once more in the Chamber of Deputies where the MPs will vote whether or not to implement the bill with amendment proposals from the Senate or not.