By David Haskel
Aug. 6 — Argentina's new do not call statute (Law No. 26951), which was enacted to protect land line and mobile phone users from unsolicited telemarketing calls, was finalized Aug. 5 upon its publication in the official gazette.
The bill, which creates a no call system for consumers to register telephone numbers, adds new regulatory compliance obligations for telemarketers making calls to individuals in Argentina.
The bill was introduced in the Senate in 2011. The upper chamber of the National Congress approved the measure in 2012. The bill was approved July 3 by the Chamber of Deputies.
The statute provides that adding a number to the no callregistry is free of charge and must “be implemented through efficient and simple means.”
As introduced, the law would have allowed numbers to be automatically dropped from the list after two years unless individuals reregistered the number, but that provision was dropped. Now the statute provides that numbers stay on the list permanently, and only the person who registered a number on the list may ask to have the number removed.
The publication of the law starts a 90-day period for the country's data protection authority, the National Directorate of Personal Data Protection (NDPDP), to issue implementing regulations.
Enforcement sanctions for violation of the new law aren't spelled out in the statute; the NDPDP is charged with spelling them out through implementing regulations.
Ensuring that the new statute is effective through the promulgation of implementing regulation can be tricky, a Congress official speaking on condition of anonymity told Bloomberg BNA in July, when the law cleared the National Congress. In the past the government has failed to issue regulations for several enacted laws, the official said.
If a new law is sufficiently detailed, the lack of implementing regulations may not be severe, but here a failure to release implementing regulations would constitute a de facto veto of the legislation, the official said.
The Direct and Interactive Marketing Association of Argentina, the country's telemarketing industry group, has supported the legislation.
Juan Pablo Tricarico, the group's executive vice president, told Bloomberg News July 8 after the law cleared Congress that three local jurisdictions, including Buenos Aires, have their own donotcall laws with implementing regulations in place. Additionally, some 20 other local jurisdictions were at different stages of adopting their own rules, he said.
A uniform national standard was needed to escape the legislative maze of disparate local laws that was hard for telemarketers to navigate, Tricarico said.
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Law No, 26951, as published, is available, in Spanish, at http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/230000-234999/233066/norma.htm.
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