22 May 2018
Have you noticed an increase in emails asking you to re-subscribe to mailing lists? You may even have reached a point of ignoring and deleting them just from overload. Understandable, but ironic, because the businesses sending them, with the plan of complying with new laws (General Data Protection Regulations) would hate to think that doing so would possibly halve their mailing lists!
GDPR comes into force very soon - on the 25th of May - and it’s all good stuff for all of us, as private consumers – just a bit tricky if you’re running a small business, without a department to deal with it, or legal advisors at hand. We’ve been debating, here, whether to send out or not to send out – will our customers only hate us because we’re the 100th company to ask them the same question in the space of three weeks? Strictly speaking, we don’t need to ask for re-subscription, because – partly due to Mailchimp– our mailouts already followed the new requirements, but should we just do it out of politeness? It’s all become more of a dilemma than we expected…
This hasn’t all come in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, although that does make it seem timely, but GDPR has been in the pipeline for quite a while. As an individual, it will mean that your rights to privacy and access will be enforced. Your personal data will have to be processed fairly and legally, with your positive consent and with a specific reason. Companies must only process relevant and accurate data, and ensure it’s kept up-to-date, and secure, for no longer than is necessary.
You have the right to ask to see what data a company holds about you, and, importantly, you have more control to prevent it being used for direct marketing. Your consent now has to be a positive opt-in, rather than the old ‘uncheck the box if you don’t want to receive related marketing…’ in tiny writing at the bottom.
So, each one of us has more choice and protection, but, the next time you receive an umpteenth email asking if you want to re-subscribe, spare a thought for the businesses in fear of decimated mailing lists or huge fines, threatened for non-compliance – or simply spending a lot of precious time debating the ironic pros versus cons of emailing busy people to ask whether they want to be emailed or not!
It would be great to hear your opinions about this… Or, if you want to, you can always sign up to our mailing list…!