REGARDING THE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE TURKISH PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY ON THE PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA BY SENDING VERIFICATION CODES TO PERSONS DURING SHOPPING IN STORES VIA SMS
17 December 2021
According to the public announcement made by the Personal Data Protection Authority ("Authority") on 17.12.2021; complaints were reported to the Authority that a verification code is sent via SMS during the cashier transactions following the shopping in the stores and that the said code is requested to be reported to the cashier on the grounds that it is necessary for completing the payment or updating the information, but after the said transaction, commercial electronic messages are sent to the customers regarding the said store activities.
In this regard, the Authority concluded that:
- The purpose of the SMS to be sent to people's phones must be explained in a clear and understandable manner by the persons authorized by the data controller in the stores at the first stage, as a requirement of layered disclosure requirement, and necessary guidance must be included in the relevant SMS for the fulfillment of the requirement to inform the data subject,
- The practices for carrying out different processing activities with a single action by sending a verification code to the relevant persons via SMS during the payment for the purchases made in the stores, such as membership agreement, permission to process personal data, commercial electronic message approval, etc., must end and the express consent must be obtained separately by offering options for the processing activities in question.
- The situations that may cause the fulfillment of the express consent and disclosure obligations at the same time must be avoided.
- If there will be an implementation to send an SMS verification code after obtaining express consent for sending commercial electronic messages, the express consent to be obtained in the said transaction must cover all elements of express consent (being related to and limited to a specific subject, notification of the results of giving consent and declaration of consent with free will).
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