To protect people who feel bothered by unwanted telephone sales calls, the Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA), has recently prohibited certain companies specialised in the creation and sale of consumer databases from continuing to handle the personal information of millions of consumers. The information has been collected and used without informing the people concerned and specifically without their prior consent to pass on their personal information to other companies - in particular, insurers carrying on distance selling business.

The DPA has also applied the prohibition to insurers who have purchased databases from the companies above for the purposes of contacting the names on the databases in order to promote their products and services through their call centres.

This prohibition has been applied because of the number of people who have reported unwanted promotional telephone calls on behalf of insurers promoting their products to the DPA.