Illegal activation of SIM cards and subscriptions: Privacy guarantor fines €150,000


Company managing two phone shops to be fined €150,000 for illegal launch Sim, Subscription and the cost of purchasing cell phones and GPS trackers using the profiles of hundreds of users without their knowledge. This was set out by the Privacy Guarantee and defines the procedure initiated by the financial police after receiving a complaint from a user regarding charges on his credit card related to the launch of a new contract in the name of his late husband. The bureau discovered multiple serious violations during its investigation.

In particular, the Guarantor found that 1,300 phone cards were activated by the company using data and identification documents deduced from the phone operator's system, and that the company sold products or improperly stocked them in stores. Not only that: The company initiated unsolicited services by enticing customers to sign via tablets, without making clear the consequences of such consent. The offenses also included the sale of mobile phones that were not requested or delivered to the customer, who found out about the purchase by finding installment payments on the invoice.

Guarantor's investigation also revealed that the company circumvented the controls of phone carriers and related regulations regarding the handling of user data to act as an independent owner. Specifically, the company planned its activities with the aim of using the personal database in its possession to initiate unsolicited phone calls or inappropriately expand contractual offers previously signed by its customers.

All this was achieved by involving employees in activities aimed at systematically circumventing the principles of legality, correctness and transparency envisaged by European regulations, with a turnover of more than 80,000 euros. For these reasons, and taking into account the overall phenomenon of illegal activation of phone cards, which may create further and more egregious illegal causes and obstacles to the fight against criminal activity, the Guarantor fined the company €150,000 and ordered a ban on further Processing of customer data.

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