A law regulating electronic commerce that will put an end to mobile harassment will come into force on May 1. A total of 15,000 e-commerce firms operating in Turkey will be obliged to protect 10 million users' personal data, while companies that fail to provide website safety by this date will be shut down. Companies that send SMS and emails with commercial purposes to consumers without receiving their approval will be fined up to TL 50,000.
The law turns a new page in e-commerce and all electronic transactions that are made over the Internet. The new law will allow more users to shop online, and will also increase the volume of online shopping. The regulation holds companies responsible for the storage and security of personal information that is collected through online shopping. The absence of website security certificates leave the website vulnerable to phishing and other online attacks that threaten the security of credit card numbers, bank account information, passwords and personal information.
The law, which has been jointly prepared by the Customs and Trade Ministry and the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK), also forbids companies from sending unsolicited text messages and emails to consumers. The prohibition will also apply to advertisements that are made via the Internet and mobile phones. According to the law, firms will have to receive approval from their customers on whether they want to receive text messages or emails. The regulation will initiate a process of criminal sanction. If unsolicited text messages and emails are sent to more than one individual, the fine of TL 50,000 will be increased by up to 10 times. The regulation will also apply to commercial messages that are sent to customers via social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.