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Directive of the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority: A consumer may receive from a business video recordings and conversations with him


Good news for consumers that could prevent many cases of denial by businesses regarding promises, falsification of facts and so forth. The Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority of the Ministry of Justice has issued a new directive entitled "Applicability of the Provisions of the Protection of Privacy Law regarding the right to inspect audio, video and other digital information".

The purpose of the directive is to make it clear to the public that it has the right to review personal information even when the information is stored, such as recorded telephone calls, chat communications, videotaped conversations, and so forth, which businesses or other public service entities have digitally stored. The directive makes it clear that provisions of the law apply to all types of digital information.

Section 13 of the Protection of Privacy Law states that every person is entitled to inspect any information about him and that the owner of a database shall enable inspection of the information: "Every person is entitled to inspect, either himself or through a representative authorized by him in writing or his guardian, any information about him kept in a database".

In the digital era, many transactions are carried out on the supplier's website, by phone or chat, and so on, which have been saved by the supplier or by other entities providing service to the public. Over the years, and in light of technological developments, in many cases, entities collect information about their customers and store this information digitally. Sometimes, the storage of information is required by law or regulatory directives, and sometimes the entities wish to keep the information for their business needs, such as for the purpose of verifying a transaction or improving the service provided by their representatives.

The right of inspection applies to any type of information that is digitally stored in any format, including voice recordings of phone calls and video filming, and not just to communications in writing. Therefore, when entities digitally save information, they must allow people to inspect information about them accordingly.

The mode for the exercise of the right of inspection set out in section 13 of the Law, includes the period prescribed to meet the request for inspection within 30 days, and the fee that may be collected for this request. Inspection of video surveillance will also include use of security and surveillance cameras and inspection of databases of photographs taken.

If the business refuses to provide the information to the consumer, the Registrar of Databases may exercise his authority and impose a fine in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations on Administrative Offenses.

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The Israel Consumer Council is the largest consumer organization in Israel. It is a statutory, non-profit corporation which works to defend consumers and protect their rights, by handling complaints, seeking solutions..