Czech Republic: Recent development in the area of unsolicited commercial communications
On 16 May 2017, the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection imposed a record fine for the dissemination of unsolicited commercial communications.
The Office imposed a fine of CZK 4,250,000 (approx. EUR 160,000) on the company EURYDIKAPOL, s. r. o., for the dissemination of unsolicited commercial communications. The company could not prove that it had the express prior consent of the targeted consumers in accordance with Act No. 480/2004 Coll. and thus it had committed an administrative offence by its conduct.
When deciding on the penalty, the Office took into consideration the number of people affected and the number of complaints raised, which amounted to 700. Another factor taken into account was that the Company continued to send spam despite the commencement of investigations and it totally ignored all the warnings issued by the Office.
The previously highest fine of CZK 1,900,000 was imposed by the Office in 2015.
The dissemination of commercial communication is only allowed in compliance with the conditions laid down in Act No. 480/2004 Coll. The key condition is the prior consent of the addressee, unless it is a customer. In the event of infringement, liability rests not only with the sender but also with the person who initiated such a campaign for its own benefit. The beneficiary is therefore considered to be liable together with the sender in order to ensure greater protection of the addressees’ privacy.