Hungary - Guidance issued on voice recordings and call centre operations - DAC Beachcroft

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Hungary - Guidance issued on voice recordings and call centre operations

Published 9 May 2016

The Hungarian Data Protection and Freedom of Information Agency (the “DPA”) recently published guidance on voice recordings and call centre operations (the “Guidance”).

Under the Guidance voice recordings, such as speech and conversations, constitute personal data and therefore data controllers must comply with their data protection obligations in order to process such voice recordings. The use and processing of voice recordings requires a legal basis, namely a data subject’s consent, unless there is a statutory legal provision which permits the processing. A data subject must also be informed at the beginning of a call that the call is being recorded. However, these obligations and requirements do not apply to crowd recordings or recordings of appearances at public events.

When obtaining a data subject’s consent, data subjects should be well informed and given a notice which includes all the relevant facts of the data processing and outlines why the voice recording is being made. In the event that a third party wants to access recordings of conversations involving numerous individuals, then each individual’s consent must be obtained first.

In respect of access rights, the data controller must provide the data subject with simple and clear information about the voice recordings. The DPA recommends that data controllers should allow data subjects to listen to their voice recordings and the data subject similarly has the right to record the conversation. The data subject is not allowed however, to publish or disclose their own recording and must only use the recording for enforcement or defence purposes if involved in a claim with the data controller.

In the backdrop of a call centre, employers must ensure that it notifies each of its employees, whose voices will be recorded, about the data processing of those voice recordings.

The Guidance also provides: (1) specific recommendations for call centre operations; (2) recommendations relating to data retention issues which are applicable to Hungarian banks, insurance companies, telecom service provides and public utility providers; and (3) recommendations on the legal remedies that are available to data subjects whose rights have been infringed.

To the extent that an organisation makes use of call recording and call centres in Hungary it should ensure that it complies with the Guidance and implements the requirements and recommendations within it.

A copy of the Guidance can be read here (Hungarian).

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