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EU Data Protection: Reform is coming, whether we like it or not

Posted by John Noble on 3 Feb 2015

In my recent blogs, I have been looking at how the new EU data legislation might impact on how you might use your marketing database. There is enough noise about what might happen and when, but what should you be doing about it?

In terms of B2B direct marketing, you will need to gain consent to capture, store and use customer and prospect information. This consent needs to be explicit. In the past we could assume consent as it was implied, often by a subscriber not opting out. Now your customers and prospects have to take a positive action to opt-in to your marketing. You also have to make it clear exactly why you are holding their data and what you are going to use it for. You will also need to be able to prove how, when and where the consent to use their data was given. This will enable you to handle any complaint efficiently and effectively.

So how do your current actions and policies stand up to the new legislation?

You need to ask yourself the following questions:

Data Collection Checklist:

  • What data are you collecting/asking for? Do you currently gain consent from customers and prospects?
  • What are you going to do with this data? Do you store permissions for each type of marketing you send?
  • Are you asking for more information than you need? Can you access details of consent given?
  • Where do you store your privacy policy information? Do you periodically ask for consent?
  • Is your privacy policy clear and easy to understand? Is it clear what people are signing up for?

If you are unable to answer or if the answer to any of the above questions is ‘no’, then you need to start taking action now, because before you know it, the new legislation will be here and you could be the wrong side of it.

If you would like to talk to someone, we would only be more than happy to help.