The Italian Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal, filed by Enel Energia s.p.a. and Reitek s.p.a., against a decision issued by the Italian data protection authority on the use of silent calls as part of their telemarketing strategy. The Italian Supreme Court ruled that silent calls (which are calls where the recipient cannot hear anything, used by businesses to maximise the amount of time which calling agents spend speaking to consumers) are effectively equivalent to automated calls. As a result they fell within the scope of Section 130(1) and (2) of the Italian Privacy Code, which requires the prior and express consent of the consumer to be obtained. This ruling is likely to have an appreciable impact on many call centres that are advised to review their practices and check whether they have the necessary consents in place.
Italian Supreme Court Ruling (in Italian)