On 28 December 2007, Law 56/2007 on Measures to Promote the Information Society (“Law”) was approved by the Spanish government and published in the Spanish Official Gazette
This law establishes a series of new measures to facilitate the development and use of new technologies, in particular in relation to consumer protection and e-invoicing.
Under Article 1 the use of electronic invoices will be compulsory when contracting with companies in the public sector. Additionally, the Law states that an electronic invoice will be the legal method of providing an invoice electronically.
Article 2 of the Law states that it is an obligation for companies that provide services of “special economic importance”, (i.e. companies providing electronic communications services, financial services, supplying water, gas and electricity, and which provide travel services), to offer their customers the opportunity to contact them and deal with them electronically. Such companies must ensure, through the use of qualified certificates of electronic signatures, that they offer their customers the ability to:
enter into electronic contracts for the provision of services or the supply of goods, as well as the ability to modify and terminate these contracts where necessary;
access their own customer data electronically;
submit complaints, queries, suggestions and claims electronically; and
exercise rights of access, modification, deletion and opposition to the processing of their personal data in accordance with data protection laws.
The Law also modifies the provisions of several existing rules. In particular, the Law modifies Law 34/2002 of 11 July on Information Society Services and E-Commerce, (“LSSI”); Law 59/2003 of 19 December on Electronic Signatures; Law 32/2003 of 3 November on Telecommunications; Law 7/1996 of 15 January on Retail Trade Regulations; Law 12/1998, and Law of 24 April on Telecommunications. It also introduces some modifications to Spanish intellectual property law.
The most noteworthy of these amendments are those affecting the LSSI. These modifications aim to erase the unnecessary provisions of the LSSI, as well as to relax some obligations related to commercial communications and e-commerce. The most significant changes introduced by the Law are:
deletion of the obligation to register domain names with the Spanish Commercial Registry;
an obligation on Internet Service Providers established in Spain to provide their users with information on, amongst other things, how users can protect their equipment against viruses, checking the content of unsolicited email, email security and potential liabilities that users can incur from unlawful use of the internet; and
permission to use the abbreviation “PUBLI”. It was previously a requirement under the LSSI for all email marketers to add “PUBLICIDAD” (ADVERT) at the beginning of all electronic marketing communications.
The Law came into force on 29 December 2007, the day after its publication. The modifications to the LSSI will enter into force within 3 months of 29 December 2007 and the new obligations stated in Article 2 within 12 months.