On March 17, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its JUDGMENT, Case C-536/15, in the proceedings between Tele2 (Netherlands) BV, Ziggo BV, Vodafone Libertel BV and Autoriteit Consument en Markt (ACM), European Directory Assistance NV, ruled that:
- Article 25(2) of Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive), as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of ‘requests’ in that article, covers also requests made by an undertaking, established in a Member State other than that in which the undertakings which assign telephone numbers to subscribers are established, which requests the relevant information possessed by those undertakings in order to provide publicly available telephone directory enquiry services and directories in that Member State and/or in other Member States;
- Article 25(2) of Directive 2002/22, as amended by Directive 2009/136, must be interpreted as precluding an undertaking which assigns telephone numbers to subscribers, and which is obliged under national legislation to request those subscribers’ consent to the use of data relating to them for the purposes of supplying directory enquiry services and directories, from differentiating in the request for those subscribers’ consent to that use according to the Member State in which the undertakings requesting the information referred to in that provision provide those services.
The Court declared that the Universal Service Directive covers also all requests made by an undertaking established in a Member State other than that in which the undertakings which assign telephone numbers to subscribers are established. Undert the principles set out in Case: C-543/09 Deutsche Telekom, the Court set out that where a subscriber has been informed by the undertaking which assigned him a telephone number of the possibility that his personal data may be passed to a third-party undertaking, with a view to being published in a public directory, and he has consented to that publication, renewed consent is not needed from the subscriber at issue for the passing of the same data to another undertaking, if it is guaranteed that the data in question will not be used for purposes other than those for which the data were collected with a view to their first publication
Hence, the passing of the same data to another undertaking intending to publish a public directory without renewed consent having been obtained from that subscriber is not capable of substantively impairing the right to protection of personal data, as recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
In addition, the Court point undertakings, which provide publicly available telephone directory enquiry services and directories operate within a highly harmonised regulatory framework making it possible to ensure throughout the EU the same respect for requirements relating to the protection of subscribers’ personal data.
Consequently, for the Court, it is not necessary for the undertaking assigning telephone numbers to its subscribers to differentiate in the request for consent addressed to the subscriber according to the Member State to which the data concerning him could be sent.