Unauthorized Telemarketing: 10 Million Euro Fine from the Privacy Authority to an Energy and Gas Supplier

The Privacy Authority, as part of its efforts to fight against unauthorized telemarketing, recently imposed a 10 million euro fine on Axpo Italia Spa, an energy producer and supplier of gas and electricity.

The penalty was issued in response to numerous users’ complaints regarding the company’s activation of unsolicited contracts in their names through the use of inaccurate and outdated data.

Following inspections by the Privacy Authority, it was ascertained that Axpo Italia Spa had unlawfully used the personal data of over 5000 users to activate gas and electricity supply contracts without their knowledge. These data were acquired through a network of approximately 280 door-to-door sales agents and sub-agents without prior verification of their accuracy or alignment with the actual users of the services.

Additionally, the Authority has ordered the company to implement a series of corrective measures, including a check-call system to verify the accuracy of contracts acquired through the sales network, alert systems to detect any improper or fraudulent data acquisition practices concerning potential customers, and the adoption of procedural rules aimed at strengthening audit activities regarding agency operations.