Presidential candidate Giorgos Lillikas was fined €500 by personal data protection commissioner Irene Loizidou-Nikoloaidou for making unsolicited phone calls and sending an SMS with political content, it was announced on Friday.
The fine was imposed after a man reported he received a phone call from a telephone operator in Larnaca inviting him to meet Lillikas in a café in Kiti on September 20, asking him to respond if he was going to attend.
The next day the operator called again to change the time of the meeting, and on the same day the complainant received a message on his mobile phone reminding him about the meeting.
According to a post on the data protection website there was no free number in the message whereby he could deny receiving message easily and without charge.
The commissioner decided this was a violation of the personal data protection law and the electronic communications law and ordered Lillikas to pay the € 500.
In her decision Nikolaidou reportedly took into account the absence of proof of consent from the complainant for the telephone call and the sending of the message and the fact that no free number was supplied.
The commission asked Lillikas’ staff to comment before reaching a decision but they didn’t respond.
By law the commission can send a warning with a deadline for lifting a violation, impose a fine of up to € 30,000 or temporarily or permanently withdraw a licence.
It is at the discretion of the commission to destroy data which has not been processed lawfully.