Today in some States there is the opt-out option for the use of public data for the purpose of direct marketing. In some case, data subjects need to declare their right not to be called on telephone numbers on public directories.
The new Privacy european regulation (GDPR) does not allow this procedure. Explicit consent need to be given by data subjects for the purpose of direct marketing.
We will see what will happen. I.e. if maketing companies will say that “telephone numbers are not personal data”. Maybe this problem will be resolved in future ePrivacy regulation (now in “proposal by Commission” state).
Thanks to Pierfrancesco Maistrello for its help in writing this post.