This post was written by Avv. Felix Hofer, and first appeared in Volume V of the Gala Gazette.

1. Implementing both, EU Directive 2002/58/EC of July 12th, 2002 (Directive on privacy and electronic communications) as well as Directive 2000/31/EC of June 8th, 2000 (Directive on electronic commerce) the Italian legislator decided that unsolicited commercial communication must always to adopt a strictly “opt-in” approach. The choice clearly didn’t drive marketers into a state of happiness: they felt that their business was unnecessarily harassed by complex and costly burdens. Therefore they decided initially not to care too much about the requirements set by the new regulations and to continue in their proven aggressive marketing techniques.

In doing so they nevertheless had underestimated a couple of factors: on one hand, consumers’ reaction (who became more and more annoyed by SPAM and behavioural targeting and were no longer tolerant of disturbing intrusions into their sphere of personal intimacy), on the other hand, the role of a Special Authority (the Privacy or Information Commissioner – DPA) in charge – in all countries members to the EU – of supervising proper compliance with the key principles of protection of personal data (and quickly focusing on the purpose of achieving a correct balance between consumers’ privacy and electronic marketing.

Click here to read the full article as published in Volume V of the Gala Gazette.