Unsolicited messages (SPAM)
Information concerning unsolicited messages and unsolicited calls (SPAM):
The Telecommunications Act 2021 sets more detailed rules on unsolicited messages and unsolicited calls. Due to the fact that questions and requests regarding unsolicited electronic mail, direct mail and calls (spam) are increasing, the Federal Ministry of Finance would like to provide information on how to deal with unsolicited electronic mail, direct mail and calls.
The Telecommunications Act 2021 regulates unsolicited calls or prohibits them. Calls for advertising purposes without the prior consent of the user are not permitted. In addition, the Telecommunications Act 2021 also expressly regulates that telephone numbers for advertising purposes may not be suppressed or falsified.
The sending of an electronic mail - including SMS - without the prior consent of the recipient is not permitted neither for the corporate sector nor for the non-commercial sector if the purpose is direct advertising. The consent given can also be revoked at any time.
To outline the scope of the regulation it is necessary to explain the terms ´direct mail` and ´electronic mail´. Direct mail has to be understood in a broad sense. Any offer sent electronically, for example to look at a website or to subscribe to a newsletter, is considered as direct advertising, as it is advertising for products and services. Electronic mail means any contact with third parties by electronic means (for example e-mail and SMS). On the other hand, messages distributed by companies or organizations to employees or members, for example, do not fall under electronic mail.
Consent is not necessary if the sender has received the contact information in connection with a sale or a customer service and if the message is for direct marketing purposes of their own similar products or services. In such a case, however, the customer must be given a clear and unambiguous opportunity to refuse such use of the contact information when it is collected. A Withdrawal has to be possible in any case and also free of charge and without any problems. The sending of advertising emails to your own customers is still permitted as before. Further exceptions for consent that is not required are regulated in the Telecommunications Act 2021, see § 174 Abs. 4 TKG 2021.
For infringements (administrative penal prosecution) within Austria contact the
Fernmeldebüro (Telecommunications Authority), Radetzkystr. 2 - 1030 Wien.
Further information: We would like to point out that administrative penal proceedings against unsolicited messages from "unsearchable" senders and those from abroad do not promise success.