We’re all exposed to a lot of unwanted calls or messages within a day. Although it is a business requirement for companies to send messages and search individuals to advertise, conduct marketing activities, there are solutions that we can legally apply to if this situation comes to undesirable levels.
Commercial Electronic Messages Overview
The first concept to be addressed in this context is “commercial electronic message”. “Commercial Electronic Transmission”, “Telephone, call centers, fax, automatic dialing machines, organized in Article 2/c of the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Trade (“Law”) published in the Official Gazette dated 05.11.2014 and numbered 29166, Intelligent voice logger systems express electronically transmitted data, audio and video messages for commercial purposes using means such as e-mail, text message service». Examples of commercial electronic messages include phone calls, messages, and emails.
Service Provider and Receiver
When reviewing commercial electronic messages, it is essential to consider service providers and recipients. Real and legal persons operating electronic trade activity are “service providers”. The recipient is a citizen who has been sent a commercial electronic message. In accordance with Article 5 of the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic messages published in the Official Gazette dated 15.07.2015 and numbered 29417 (“Regulation”), approval is required for “commercial electronic messages sent by recipients to electronic contact addresses to promote, market, promote their property and services, promote their business, and promote their reputation with content such as celebrations”.
Undoubtedly, during the COVID-19 Pandemic e-commerce sector has become an essential part of all of our lives. The “commercial electronic message” permissions, which are among the boxes that we unconsciously approve when we subscribe to the websites we shop, are recorded on the systems of service providers companies and come across both messages and calls as part of the promotional and marketing processes.
In terms of service providers, the commercial electronic message process has been reviewed by the amendment made in the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages (“Regulation”) in January and the obligation to register to the Message Management System for Service Providers (“IYS”). In this context, Service Providers must upload the approvals received from individuals to the IYS The service provider can obtain company approval in electronic form or via the IYS. It is always possible to recover the approvals registered by service providers to the IYS by the recipients.
The most problematic issue by service providers is the removal of approvals issued by buyers, citizens If the recipient unapproved IYS from its site or e-Devlet to the service provider, then the service provider must stop sending commercial electronic messages within 3 business days per the Regulation. In this case, the service provider must obtain legal and valid approval from the recipient to continue its electronic trade activities again. It is important that the service provider carefully conduct this process and check whether the approvals received have been undone through their systems.
Complaints and Sanctions
How To Struggle Unwanted Messages And Calls?The service provider may face various sanctions if they commit other illegal violations within the scope of commercial electronic messages. It is possible for the buyer to complain to the service provider through the channels listed in Article 14 of the “Regulation in Case of Unlawful Situations.” In the second paragraph of the same article, they stated the required aspects in the application for the complaint made by the buyer to be valid. Article 12 of the Law states the sanctions going to be applied in case of different unlawful violations regarding commercial electronic messages. In terms of these illegalities, the most common one is the continuation of sending commercial electronic messages without the consent of the recipient. In this case, as of 2021, fines ranging from 2.701 Turkish Liras to 10.391 Turkish Liras are applied. It should be kept in mind that administrative fines for service providers increase each year according to the revaluation rate.