Warning From The Authority On Sending Verification Codes To Customers Via Sms During Shopping 18 November 2023

The Personal Data Protection Authority ("Authority") published a Public Announcement ("Announcement") on the Processing of Personal Data by Sending a Verification Code via SMS to the Data Subjects during Shopping in Stores.

The announcement was made due to numerous complaints and notifications received by the Authority stating that during the checkout procedures related to the shopping made in the stores, a verification code was sent to the relevant persons via SMS. The code was requested to be notified to the cashier for reasons such as completing the payments or updating the information but that commercial electronic messages were sent to the relevant persons after the mentioned transaction.

The Authority has found that this practice is not in compliance with the Law and has issued the following guidelines:

  • The purpose of the SMS to be sent to customers' phones during the checkout process in the store and the consequences of giving the code transmitted with this SMS must be clearly and understandably conveyed.
  • During payment transactions in the stores, the practices of performing different processing activities such as approving the membership agreement, obtaining permission to process personal data, obtaining commercial electronic message approval by sending a verification code via SMS to the relevant persons must be terminated.
  • Explicit consent must be obtained separately by providing options for the processing activities that must be carried out with explicit consent.
  • Obtaining explicit consent and fulfilling the disclosure obligation must be carried out separately.
  • The practices of presenting explicit consent to the processing of personal data for the purpose of sending commercial messages to customers as a mandatory element for the completion of shopping are not in compliance with the Law.
  • Explicit consent for the processing of personal data for the purpose of sending commercial electronic messages must be requested after the completion of the shopping.

You can access the relevant Announcement 


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