Administrative fines imposed on a telephone service provider

17 october 2019

EDPB publised the the information related to the fines imposed   on a telephone service provider by the Hellenic DPA.

1) Imposition of a fine for breach of the principle of accuracy and data protection by design when keeping personal data of subscribers

The Hellenic DPA has received complaints from telephone subscribers of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (“OTE”) who, although registered in the OTE’s do-not-call register (according to Article 11 of Law 3471/2006), they received unsolicited calls from third companies for the promotion of products and services.

The investigation of the case showed that those subscribers had submitted a portability request for the transfer of their subscription to another provider. As a consequence, OTE deleted their entries from the do-not-call register. However, when those subscribers cancelled their portability request, there was no proper procedure to cancel their removal from the register. Subscribers were listed as registrants in the internal system of the provider’s customer service, but their telephone numbers were not included in the register sent by OTE to the advertisers, as the two systems, due to the error in their interconnection, did not have the same content. 

The Authority found that this incident affected a large number of individual subscribers, as there was an infringement of Article 25 (data protection by design) and Article 5 (1) (c) (principle of accuracy) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It therefore imposed an administrative fine of EUR 200.000 on the basis of the criteria laid down in Article 83 (2) of the Regulation.


(2) Imposition of a fine for failure to satisfy the right to object and the principle of data protection by design when keeping personal data of subscribers


The Hellenic DPA has received complaints from the recipients of advertising messages from OTE concerning their lack of ability to unsubscribe from the list of recipients of advertising messages. In the course of the examination of the complaints it emerged that from 2013 onwards, due to a technical error, the removal from the lists of recipients of advertising messages did not operate for those recipients who used the “unsubscribe” link. OTE did not have the appropriate organisational measure, i.e. a defined procedure by which it could detect that the data subject’s right to object could not be satisfied. 

Subsequently, OTE removed around 8.000 persons from the addressees of the messages, who had unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw from 2013 onwards. The Authority has found an infringement of the right to object to the processing for direct marketing purposes (Article 21 (3) of the GDPR) as well as Article 25 (data protection by design) of the GDPR and imposed an administrative fine of EUR 200.000 on the basis of the criteria of Article 83 (2) of the Regulation.


Decision 34/2019 is available in Greek on  Decisions”

Communications Department

For further information, please contact the Greek SA directly:

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