After what feels like an eternity of waiting, GDPR is imminently upon us. Next week, on Friday 25th May, what has become a ‘boogieman like’ presence to some will finally make itself known. We’ve all been educated on the implications and the requirements and no doubt a fair few marketing departments have lost sleep over the prospect of being ready for the big day. Whilst that panic (in some cases) has been justified, in the case of your postal marketing campaigns it’s very much business as usual.
A statement released by the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) confirmed that postal marketing will still be permitted without the ‘explicit consent’ that is required for other channels. Analysing the statement further, it goes on to say:
“You won’t need consent for postal marketing, you can rely on legitimate interests for marketing activities if you can show how you use people’s data is proportionate, has minimal privacy impact and people would not be surprised or likely to object”
After months of sometimes confusing and conflicting information regarding the specifics of GDPR regulations, the statement from the ICO has enabled marketers up and down the country to breathe a sigh of relief.
Scrutinising the statement further, and looking specifically at the reference to ‘legitimate interests’, article 6 (1) in the GDPR regulations lists legitimate interests as a lawful basis of processing where:
Processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
Given the importance of protecting the rights and interests of the recipient, the requirements surrounding legitimate interests are all completely fair and just for any credible marketer. This GDPR business isn’t so scary after all, is it?
Further comfort comes from the DMA in the shape of the following observation:
“Marketers must consider whether their marketing would be reasonably expected by an individual. If the answer is no then this adds weight to the case for using legitimate interest as the most appropriate legal ground.”
“For example, an IT software company could argue that IT Directors would reasonably expect to receive marketing emails relating IT software products. They are responsible for purchasing software products for their company and therefore have in interest in receiving offers about products that might create efficiencies, for example.”
Whilst we at Herald Chase would always recommend doing your own due diligence on the regulations, these are encouraging developments in what has been an uncertain landscape for the last few months. GDPR has long been feared by many data controllers and processors, but we’d suggest it’s more of a fear of the unknown than the regulations themselves. If you’re putting the best interests of the recipient first, as I’m sure we all have been doing anyway, then GDPR is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. Put some thought around your campaigns and the legitimate interests they offer to the recipient, and then… carry on mailing!
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