In a press conference on Monday afternoon, the Personal Data Protection Commission said that it had announced its exemption last week - a week before the launch of the Do-Not-Call registry - and not later, because it did not want consumers to miss out on relevant marketing messages.
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Intent of DNC registry 'unchanged' despite exemptions
The Do Not Call (DNC) Registry is effective despite the exemption order announced last week.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) in a statement today said that individuals can still block unsolicited telemarketing calls and messages by registering their telephone numbers on the DNC Registry, which comes into force on Jan 2. It stressed that the intent behind the registry remains unchanged.
The Commission also said that organisations must fulfil several conditions in order to send messages under the exemption order. Organisations can only send such messages to an individual with whom they have an ongoing relationship. It clarified that a one-off transaction does not constitute an ongoing relationship.
The PDPC also emphasised that organisations cannot use the exemption clause to market other aspects of their business "indiscriminately without considering the subject of the ongoing relationship." Also, organisations cannot rely on the exemption clause once the ongoing relationship has ceased.
Each message must also contain an opt-out facility. Once an individual has opted out, the organisation cannot make use of the exemption clause to continue sending telemarketing messages.
The exemption order does not apply to voice calls. This means that individuals who have registered their telephone numbers on the DNC Registry should not receive any telemarketing calls.