What does UAE law say about illegal telemarketing calls?
Dubai - Information shared about a person without the express consent of such a person is illegal.
Unsolicited telephone calls by telemarketing companies is a common irritant we all face.
whether such information is shared with or without monetary benefits. Upon questioning a telemarketing caller their response is we got your mobile number from a source. The challenge is how to prove from where they got the information and time and effort it may take to initiate a complaint against such unsolicited callers.
Insofar as the framework regarding data-protection is concerned it may be noted that the UAE as a jurisdiction, maintains a system of checks and balances. In this country, people and entities have freedom to use electronic means of communication. However, the same comes with reasonable restrictions, which are generally aimed at protecting privacy and dignity of individuals and families and keeping the society free from the negativities of unauthorized or immoral data-usage and dissemination.
Under Article 378 of the Federal Law No 3 of 1987 on the Issuance of the Penal Code, it is a punishable offence for anyone to publish news, pictures or comments on someone's familial or private life. Further, under Article 379 of the same law, a person with access to secret information by virtue of his profession/trade/ position, may also be subject to punishment by detention for a term of one year with fine, in the event such person makes a disclosure of such information or uses the information for self-enrichment and commercial purposes.
The UAE continues to be a leader in building a robust information technology framework whilst ensuring that data is accorded due protection. And it is noteworthy that the protection extends to electronic records, documents and communications, and violations are subject to penalties.
The Federal Law No 2 of 2002 related to Electronic Transaction and Commerce, the Federal Law No. 1 of 2006 on Electronic Commerce and Transactions and the Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on combating Cyber Crimes, comprise the set of cyber laws in the country. And it may be noted that all of them have provisions regarding data protection.
The table below summarily describes the existing laws regarding data protection in the UAE.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: email@example.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.