AEPD presents the mediation system of the new AUTOCONTROL Code of Conduct on data processing in advertising activity

Jan 17th '23

  • AUTOCONTROL’s code of conduct establishes maximum times of 30 days for the resolution of controversies
  • The receipt of unwanted publicity is one of the most frequent complaints raised with the Agency
  • The telephone operators Másmóvil, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone have adhered today to this code of conduct, open to all companies that carry out advertising activities
  • When claims in the field of advertising against member entities are filed directly with the Agency, the latter may refer them to the Advertising Jury, in its capacity as the body supervising the code of conduct.


The Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD) has approved the modification of the AUTOCONTROL Code of Conduct ‘Data processing in advertising activity’ , which includes a way to resolve complaints regarding data protection and advertising more quickly that citizens may raise. The presentation of the code of conduct, held today at the Agency’s headquarters, was inaugurated by the director of the AEPD, Mar España, and was attended by the general director of AUTOCONTROL, José Domingo Gómez Castallo, and the telephone operators Másmóvil, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone, which today signed their adherence to it.


The codes of conduct, whose adherence is voluntary but binding, constitute a sample of self-regulation. In terms of data protection, they are compliance mechanisms in which specific rules are established for categories of controllers or processors in order to contribute to the correct application of the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD) and the Organic Law on Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights. Unwanted advertising is one of the most frequent complaints raised before the Agency , so the presentation of claims through AUTOCONTROL and this code of conduct, open to all companies that carry out advertising activities, will allow the establishment of a procedure mediation voluntary and free for the citizen to give a more agile response to the claims that citizens raise in this matter against the member entities.


Technological evolution has transformed advertising, allowing not only to reach more people, but to do so taking into account their interests, habits, demographic data, etc. Phenomena such as big data, cloud computing or the internet of things can bring valuable benefits, but their use must always be approached respecting the rights of users and, among them, the right to data protection. This implies, on the one hand, the obligation to demonstrate proactive responsibility, complying with data protection principles, including data protection by design; and, on the other hand, the need to offer an agile, effective and simple way to resolve possible controversies that may arise.


This code of conduct applies to data processing for advertising purposes or dealing with advertising carried out by member entities, such as sending commercial communications, including those in which the interested party is on an advertising exclusion list, promotions carried out with purpose of collecting personal data to use them for advertising purposes, use of cookies and equivalent technologies for conducting behavioral advertising or profiling for advertising purposes, among others.


The GDPR establishes that all codes of conduct must designate a supervisory body that acts with full independence from both the promoter of the code and the adhering entities, and that must be accredited by the control authority. In this case, the advertising jury, accredited by the Agency, remains as the body for the supervision and control of this code.


The practical operation of the code of conduct for citizens will be as follows: AUTOCONTROL has an out-of-court resolution system to resolve disputes that arise between citizens and entities adhering to the code due to data processing carried out in the field of advertising activity. . AUTOCONTROL will study the claims received, initiating the mediation procedure. The adhered entity must respond within a maximum period of 15 days, proposing the actions it deems pertinent for mediation. The maximum duration of the procedure will be 30 days.


On the other hand, when claims regarding data protection and advertising against member entities are filed directly with the Agency, the latter may refer them to the Advertising Jury , in its capacity as the body supervising the code of conduct, to initiate the mediation procedure . Its maximum duration in this case will be 27 days, informing the Agency of the agreement reached.


The director of the Spanish Agency for Data Protection, Mar España, has highlighted both the importance of this code of conduct and the adherence of telecommunications operators “not only to solve conflicts that occur between the entities and citizens but also as a way to foster consumer confidence in organizations, which in turn can obtain a joint image of the problems that may be occurring in an entity regarding the violation of data protection regulations and publicity, undoubtedly helping to solve it”.


For the general director of AUTOCONTROL, José Domingo Gómez Castallo, “it is a code that offers a system for processing data protection claims in advertising that has multiple and significant advantages for both consumers and users, to whom it provides a simple, agile and effective channel for resolving your complaints, as well as for member companies. AUTOCONTROL, recognized as ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) by the Government, has accredited experience to assume this mission also in relation to this code”.


Source & Image: AUTOCONTROL


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