March 24, 2016
In our recent blog we discussed the impending change to the Data protection Laws. The new General Data Protection Regulation was agreed on December 15th 2015. The DMA anticipates it will be published in the EU Journal before May or June and once the published will be law across the EU. A two year implementation phase will then begin, and so the law will be enforceable by May or June 2018. The new law states that you need permission from an individual to process their information. If an email address is personally identifiable ie. [email protected] then you need permission to process it. Sending an email clearly involves processing their details and therefore requires express permission. The regulation is far from toothless and the ICO has the power to fine companies up to 4% of their GDP. So companies need to use this two year period to gain permission before it's too late. I’m concentrating on business to business emails in this blog and part two will consider personal emails.
Business emails: What you should be doing now
The new regulations are going to be a huge cultural shift for companies marketing to other businesses. Business emails such as [email protected] were exempt in the UK from the previous legislation: The Electronic Communications Act 2003. This meant that you could continue to email them on an 'opt-out' basis unlike personal emails like Gmail and Hotmail that required an express 'opt-in'. Since then, business to business emailing has been a bit of a free for all with some companies batching and blasting without permission. In two years’ time the new law will apply to non-generic business emails and you'll need their permission to 'process' them. So this two years’ grace period gives you time to take action and some ideas of what you can do are:
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