April 18, 2017
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that a telephone subscriber’s consent to the publication of this data also covers its use in another Member State.
A Belgian company offering telephone directory services in Belgium requested that Dutch companies offering the same services in the Netherlands make their subscribers data available to the Belgian company. The Dutch companies refused considering that they were not required under the European Universal Service Directive to provide the requested data to an establishment in another member state.
The case was referred to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling.
The Court ruled on two questions.
The first question was whether or not a provider of telephone directory services was obliged to make its subscribers data available to providers of the same services in another member state under the provisions of the European Universal Service Directive.
The Court ruled that as the objective of the Directive is to ensure the availability of good quality services throughout the EU, it covers all requests made by an undertaking established in a Member State other than that in which the undertakings which assign telephone numbers to subscribers are established.
The Court also ruled on a second question of whether or not the subscribers of the above providers services should be able to choose whether or not to consent to the publication of their data according to the member state in which the provider requesting the data was established.
Regarding this question, the Court ruled that if the subscriber had already consented to the publication of his data by the provider who assigned him the telephone number and had been informed by said provider that his data may be given to a third party provider, renewed consent is not needed as long as the service provider guarantees that the data will not be used for other purposes than the purposes for which the data was first published.
As the service providers operate within a harmonised regulatory framework, it is possible to ensure that the subscribers right to the protection of his personal data will be respected.