Its Time to Embrace the GDPR

If you’ve not yet done so, its time to embrace the GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation becomes lawful on 25 May 2018.

It builds upon the existing Data Protection Act so the good news is that many of the marketing requirements remain unchanged. If in doubt, please seek legal counsel. You can also visit the ICO website (Information Commissioners Office) for more information. You might also like to refer to our previous blog: The New General Data Protection regulation and What it Means.

The Main Focus of the GDPR

The main focus of the GDPR is on the collection and processing of personal data of an individual residing in the EU – be that a client, consumer, supplier or employee. It is permissible to collect and store data with an express business case, so long as all the key principles for personal data are met:

  • processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;
  • collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;
  • adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
  • accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay;
  • kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and
  • processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

And furthermore, that the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the above principles.

GDPR from a Marketing Perspective

If an individual has already opted-in for an email newsletter (pre-GDPR) they do not need to opt-in again. However, the emphasis is on the data controller to prove compliance. The recommended best practice is to confirm consent where feasible.

It is also important to note that the ‘soft opt-in’ will continue to apply if certain conditions are met, such as:

  1. Details obtained during the sale of a product or negotiation of a product/service, and
  2. Marketing similar products and services, and
  3. Individual is given a simple and clear opportunity to refuse marketing and opt-out at any point in future.

An individual does not need to opt-in for postal mailing communications. However, it continues to be best practice to run the data through the MPS (Mailing Preference Service) in advance.

If you would like to discuss your marketing requirements, please get in touch.