Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it first seemed!

Back in December 2016, the Direct Marketing Association received a leak of the new ePrivacy Regulation, which will apply across the digital single market from March 2018.

The proposal at the time suggested that businesses marketing to other businesses via email would need to gain explicit opt-in consent from individual workers before they could send any marketing emails.

This applied to workers at limited companies, publically limited companies, local authorities, other government departments and limited liability partnerships (corporate subscribers).

This would have had massive ramifications for B2B organisations, but the regulations have been updated and it looks like we’ll be able to keep sending those emails after all!

But how so?

According to the Direct Marketing Association, there is a provision for member states “to ensure that corporate subscriber’s legitimate interests are adequately protected.”

Making it as easy as possible for corporate subscribers to opt-out/unsubscribe from receiving electronic marketing will cover it.*

*Okay, okay, it will involve a bit more than this, but we’re expecting the actual text of the regulation to change between now and March 2018, so we’ll be keeping you updated. Just follow the “data protection” category in our news stories.

What about sole traders?

The ePrivacy Regulation treats sole traders and employees of unincorporated partnership differently. If, during the negotiation or completion of a sale, contact details are collected, electronic marketing is only permissible to these groups if:

  • the marketing is for similar products/services
  • the recipient was told at the time that their details would be used for unsolicited direct marketing and could have opted-out
  • a clear opt-out/unsubscribe is available on each and every piece of electronic marketing message that is subsequently sent

In plain English, so long as you tell workers that you might use their details for email marketing when you collect their data, and then make it as easy as possible to opt-out when you actually send the marketing emails, you should be okay.*

*Again, keep following our data protection blogs for changes between now and March 2018

If you’re confused, get in touch for a chat about your data protection and marketing.

When will this happen?

The current ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) will be repealed in March 2018, and coincides with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across the EU.

Who knew data privacy could be so exciting?!?