Do-not-call registry on the way

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Issue 946, Page 2
Word count: 375
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Telecommunications Regulation Bureau (DSRT) is planning to draft a regulation to offer registrations for consumers to stop receiving certain telemarketing calls or messages.

DSRT director Lawrence Tou Veng Keong said on the sidelines of a seminar yesterday that the idea came from neighbouring cities where databases have been created to show what numbers are listed to opt out of getting certain commercial electronic messages or calls from telemarketers.

For example in Hong Kong, three do-not-call registers for respectively fax, short messages and pre-recorded telephone messages have been launched since the full commencement of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance on 22 December 2007.

In response to recent reports that some casinos and companies had obtained personal data through the electronic network and then sent out promotional offers to the mobile numbers, Tou said the bureau is concerned about the issue, and is considering a regulation to curb such business practice as well as to prevent the misuse of personal information.

“Individuals who do not want to receive certain messages or have their personal information used in certain ways, can register through a specific channel,” the DSRT director told reporters.

As such, if a commercial institute wants to send out information to a phone user, it will have to first check the database to see whether that person is on the do-not-call list.

“Some neighbouring countries have already adopted a do-not-call registry and we also hope Macau can work more on this aspect,” Tou said.

“Residents can know what kinds of messages they are getting and also have the initiative to decide what messages they don’t want to get,” he added.

Tou said a consultation will be launched “hopefully within this year”, after the bureau completes the preliminary work of the plan.

Only after public opinions are collected, he said the bureau will start drafting the regulation as it hopes to “strike a balance between the needs of civilians and commercial institutes”.

On the other hand, the DSRT head said the bureau has completed the tender for the construction of Wi-Fi networks in 34 public places throughout Macau.

He expected the contract will be signed before the end of March.

After that, he said a tender for the operation of the wireless networks will be staged.

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