Today, the Italian and the Albanian Data Protection Authorities issued a press release (that you can find here) announcing their cooperation on privacy protections when personal data are processed by call centers located in Albania.  

The agreement is aimed at addressing the privacy concerns raised by the delocalization of Italian call centers outside the European Union.

In 2012, new provisions on the transfer of call centers outside of Italy were introduced requiring entities planning to transfer call centers outside of Italy – as well as entities already running call centers abroad – to:

  • provide the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Ministero del lavoro e delle politiche sociali) with a communication containing the details of the workers involved in the transfer (at least 120 days before the transfer);
  • provide the DPA with a communication indicating the measures implemented in order to ensure that data protection requirements as per the Italian Privacy Code are effectively met.

This regulatory change also required that during both inbound and outbound calls customers shall be informed of the place where the call center operators are physically located and shall give the possibility to the customers to be assisted by an Italian operator. And the lack of compliance with such obligations was punished with fines of € 10,000 Euro per each day of violation.

Following such change, the Italian Privacy Authority issued in 2013 a resolution introducing stringent obligations for the transfer of personal data to call centers located in countries outside the EU (Giulio’s post outlines the main provisions of the resolution). Such measures were followed by stringent audits by the competent authorities which identified a number of call centers in breach of the above mentioned provisions, and, in particular, of the Italian privacy law obligations.

Hence the cooperation between the Italian and Albanian DPA does not come as a surprise. Will the agreement between the Italian and Albanian privacy authorities, the number of audits on call centers will be increased making the life of Italian entities relying on said call centers tougher.