Information Society Code – umbrella for electronic communications provisions

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 4.4.2013 11.00
Press release

Information Society Code - umbrella for electronic communications provisions

The Information Society Code, a comprehensive reform of the legislation on electronic communications, has reached the consultation stage. The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications requests comments on the draft that consolidates nine different acts. The deadline for submitting comments is 13 May 2013.

Krista Kiuru, the Minister of Housing and Communications, considers it important that the reform takes the position of service users into account in many ways.

The Information Society Code updates and harmonises provisions on electronic communications.

From the viewpoint of private individuals and businesses, the Information Society Code introduces several improvements to the position of service users. The proposed changes concern, for example, information security, protection of privacy, reasonable prices and improved safety in buying electronic services.

For service providers, the reform means clearer and more streamlined legislation. The changes are described as moderate and measures are proposed, for example, to simplify the licence system. On the other hand, businesses will be subject to new obligations with respect to consumers.

"The Information Society Code includes, for example, a new provision that would make telecommunications operators and service providers jointly responsible when services are invoiced in connection with a telephone bill. The joint responsibility has been modelled on credit card payments. In addition, terms of contract would have to be clear and intelligible and consumers would be entitled to compensation for shorter service disruptions than at present," Kiuru says.

The code also includes a proposal that Kiuru considers important for the protection of privacy; namely, that the responsibility to ensure the safety of communications would be extended from telecommunications operators to other players transmitting communications. In addition to Finnish players, the responsibility would also concern Facebook and other services that may be used for sending private messages.

Kiuru emphasises that no political decisions have yet been made on the content of the reform. According Kiuru, parties have been and continue to be able to influence the reform process.

"In drafting the Information Society Code, we have paid special attention to ensuring that the process is transparent and interactive. The industry has been involved in the preparation and our interaction will continue even after the round of comments. We would also like to hear from the citizens," Kiuru says.

Further information

Mr Esa Suominen, Special Advisor, tel. +358 43 824 5668
Ms Sanna Helopuro, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 400 515 548