The messenger logo

Amendment to personal data protection in the works

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, July 29
The law about the Protection of Personal Data might be amended. Customers will be able to filter incoming SMS on their mobile phones while the companies will receive some sanctions for sending unsolicited advertisements.

Deputy Inspector for Personal Data Protection Nikoloz Bregvadze said that the law on Personal Data Protection already exists, but according to him, it is not effective enough.

“This is why the law needs reworking. A person, who receives a message must be able to filter it the way it is received. For example, if it is an SMS on a mobile phone, one must be able to contact a sender company through SMS, if it is a message on email, an individual should be able to contact the sender with E-mail to inform them that he no longer wants to receive their adds,” Bregvadze stated.

According to him, a financial penalty will increase enough to make the sender companies think twice when violating the law.

Meanwhile, mobile operators avoid responsibility, stating that they are not sharing information about their customers’ personal information with any companies. According to them, they respect the confidentiality of each person and they have no information how the companies are getting the personal data.

The law supposedly will be discussed at parliament’s autumn session and if it is amended, any person will be able to get rid of unwanted messages from the end of 2014.

Earlier in 2013,Transparency International Georgia published a survey and even shared examples for anti-spam regulation in Western European countries.

According to TI, anti-spam regulations usually allow electronic direct marketing in the case of an “opt-in” by the consumer, meaning a person subscribes to receive such information or agrees to receive messages. But even in the case of the opt-in, a person should be given an easy and immediate way to unsubscribe.

“The rules are enshrined either in a country's data protection regulation or separate anti-spam acts are adopted. The Data Protection Commissioner, often together with the telecommunications regulator, are usually the agencies responsible for monitoring compliance of people and companies with anti-spam regulation,” reads the statement.

TI even published the names of the companies that are sending most of the spam messages. These include Alltours; Alta; Amboli; ARAY Tomorrow; Baldi; Bosch; Carrefour; Chic Bebe; City Club; Club 71; Elit Electronics; GASA; H Interior; KSB Bank; Lotus; MEDI; Megaline; Nissan; OK; RAK ceramics; Safilo; Salamander; Samsung; Smiley; Techno Boom; TK – Batumi;and Vivasun.