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Everything You Need to Know About Marketing Consent In Line With GDPR



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For marketers who are not so familiar with data privacy regulations, GDPR compliance is becoming a major issue. This is fuelling the rising demand for data protection services across the UK.

Needless to say, it’s now more important than ever for marketers to gain a clear understanding of data privacy regulations and learn more about marketing best practices in order to protect their best interests.

In this article, we share everything that marketers need to know about GDPR, and also several ways to ensure that the marketing consent they have collected is in line with the GDPR.

What’s GDPR and why are marketers required to maintain compliance with it?

Focusing on supporting the data privacy of the public and aiming to prevent the misuse of anyone’s personal data, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted and enforced by the European Union in 2018.

Even though it has been mandated in the UK and across the European Union, marketers across the globe are obligated to maintain compliance with the GDPR, as long as any of their data subjects reside in these regions.

As a result, marketers need to be careful when acquiring and using personal data in their campaigns. If there’s a data breach or if the marketers are found guilty of not complying with the GDPR, they can face legal issues, penalties and even risk going out of business, depending on what action the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) chooses to take against them.

What limitations apply to marketing activities as a result of GDPR?

With GDPR in place, there are some limitations on how marketers can use personal data in their campaigns.

Given that the UK GDP and the Data Protection Act has been mandated so that the data privacy and data protection rights of individuals are not violated, marketers now need to have a valid lawful basis for the collection, use and processing of any form of personal data.

Apart from this, marketers are also responsible for informing the data subjects of how exactly their personal data is going to be used, from protecting the data (as long as they are storing it in their databases) to offering data subjects the option to express their non-consent.

Along these lines, if a marketer receives a request from their data subject to exclude their contact from any future marketing campaigns and stop the processing of their personal data immediately, marketers are expected to comply with it.

Assessing the GDPR compliance of your marketing activities

To be able to better assess the GDPR compliance of their marketing campaigns and activities, marketers need to ensure that they are:

• Safely storing the marketing consent that they’re obtaining from their data subjects
• Relying on either valid consent or legitimate interest as the lawful basis for collecting, storing and processing user data
• Conducting a thorough LIA (Legitimate Interest Assessment) on a regular basis
• Not sharing irrelevant content or offers with their audience
• Offering to their recipients at least one option through which they can withdraw their consent or unsubscribe from their marketing list
• Correctly classifying their marketing activity as either B2C or B2B

Understanding “valid consent” in line with the GDPR

As per the UK GDPR, it’s important the consent provided for marketing is:

• Given willingly
• Not a prerequisite for gaining access to any products or services
• Collected with transparency surrounding what they’re granting consent for and the nature of marketing communication they can expect to receive in the future
• Specifically related to just a single clause and not used to gain consent for any other marketing objective
• Associated with affirmative action on the user’s part
• Not collected using any questionable opt-in mechanisms, like checkboxes that are already ticked, for example
• Not exclusive and allows the data subjects the option to withdraw or cancel their consent at any point in time

Only if your users’ consent strictly adheres to the above points can it be considered valid in the eyes of law.

Additional tips for marketers who are serious about compliance

Gaining valid consent is objectively the first and most important step towards maintaining GDPR compliance. However, if you’re serious about ensuring compliance with not just the GDPR but all the data privacy regulations, including the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), here are some additional points to consider:

• Avoid sending irrelevant information or unsolicited advice to the contacts present in your marketing databases
• Review your marketing databases regularly and eliminate any contacts who aren’t engaging or responding to your messages
• Share instructions in your marketing messages on how the recipients can opt-out from your marketing list

The rules for maintaining compliance with the data privacy regulations are fairly simple and marketers who adhere to these can not only avoid the legal hassles, but also ensure their peace of mind.

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