Share article:
Share article:

Data protection authority fines Proximus €20,000

© Belga

The national data protection authority (DPA) has issued telecoms company Proximus with an administrative fine of €20,000 after the company refused a client request to delete her personal details from the phone book.

The customer applied to Proximus in January last year to have her personal details removed not only from Proximus’ own servers, but also from the systems of third parties with whom Proximus has a contract to supply telephone details.

Proximus lists the telephone numbers of private customers in its annual published telephone book, as well as its telephone enquiry service 1207, and websites 1207.be and 1307.be.

She also demanded that Proximus provide her with a new telephone number with her new provider Telenet.

Two weeks later Proximus contacted her to inform her the telephone number was no longer listed in the phone book, the 1207 service or the website 1207.be.

In August last year, however, the customer contacted Proximus again after finding her details were still being offered via all the previous channels, as well as in phone number services run by third parties.

The customer then brought the matter to the attention of the DPA, providing proof in the form of screen captures that information provided by Proximus was published revealing her full name, full postal address and telephone number.

The DPA found the complaint admissible, and turned the matter over to its own litigation chamber. Now that authority, having heard submissions from the parties, has found against Proximus. The chamber rejected the company’s argument that it could not be held responsible for the use of data by third parties.

The fine, the DPA said, is internationally high enough to serve as an example to others, given the position of Proximus as an industry leaders, and one in which the government is invested.

The company will now consider whether to appeal the decision.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
Belgium in Brief: Feeling Good/ Pandemic Law
Yesterday I said I was writing a newsletter I didn't want to write again. Today I'm writing another one ahead of a meeting that wasn't supposed ...
Eating less meat won’t actually help much with Flemish CO2 emissions
When it comes to the ways in which ordinary people can help to reduce CO2 emissions, eating less meat is often touted as an important solution. ...
At least one in seven coronavirus patients suffers from long-term Covid
Six months after becoming infected with the coronavirus, at least one in seven people still show symptoms connected to the infection, varying from ...
Operation Sky ECC: Major arrests and another large scale operation
A major operation took place last night in Belgium as a result of Operation Sky ECC, the name given to an investigation into organised crime that ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Consultative Committee expected to discuss telework and state of emergency
On Tuesday afternoon, Belgium's Consultative Committee will be meeting earlier than expected to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation. ...
Highest number of new Covid-19 cases recorded since November 2020
The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Belgium is continuing to increase and has now reached levels last recorded in November ...
Prototype test plane crashes in Belgium after pilot ejects
A prototype aircraft crashed on Sunday afternoon in Yves-Gomezée (Walcourt, Namur province) during a test flight, according to several local media ...