Has personal data been deleted from the phone book? According to a decision by the European Court of Justice, this will be easier in the future. What should customers of telephone service providers do for this.
The basics in brief
- Mass deletion of personal data from directories such as phone books may become much easier in the future.
If phone providers transfer customer data to other service providers and search engines, they must also ensure that entries there are deleted if customers ask them to do so. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) announced on Thursday (October 27) in Luxembourg (Case C-129/21) that they do not have to apply for deletion on a company-by-company basis.
Judgment background Legal action against the Belgian telephone company Proximus, which offers, among other things, directory inquiries and leads with personal data such as names, addresses and telephone numbers. They are transmitted to Proximus by other providers and Proximus also sends them to other providers and search engines such as The Google tracking. To date, only one customer approval is required for this.
A customer is now suing because his new phone number was in such evidence without his consent. Proximus fired back, arguing that the customer’s consent was not required for his data to be published in the telephone directories. Instead, they will have to apply themselves after not including the so-called opt-out procedure, and as long as this does not happen, the data does not need to be deleted.
The European Court of Justice has not pursued this. Before publishing data, customers must give their consent. With this consent, other companies can also process the data, provided they pursue the same purpose. However, it is then sufficient to revoke your consent only once – either to your service provider or to one of the other companies that use the data. Phone providers are then required to forward the cancellation and ensure that the data is deleted.