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If your inbox is anything like mine, you would have recently been inundated with emails about the imminent arrival of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and attempts to entice you into ‘clicking here’ so we can still contact you, but have you been wondering why? Are you in the blissful group who don’t know it’s GDPR D-Day tomorrow? Are you wondering what, if anything, you need to do?
What does it all mean?
In short, the GDPR aims to give individuals (whether these are customers, third parties or employees) more rights and control over the ways in which companies process personal data. One way it does this is by requiring “positive consent” before sending you marketing material.
This is why many companies are now seeking your consent by sending you those emails that are filling up your in-box. If you ignore them and do not give your consent, then in theory at least, the company should not contact you again! It is also why you may have or will very shortly be receiving a similar e-mail from Bolt Burdon asking for your consent for us to keep sending you e-news. Do nothing and this could be the last e-news you receive from us!
Many of you will be thinking that this is a perfect way of reducing unwanted traffic into your in-box, while a reduction from tomorrow is certainly likely, it will not be a perfect ‘spring clean’.
Under the GDPR there are six grounds allowing companies to collect and hold your personal data, only one of which is consent. So for example, if you have a contract with a company who is providing you services, or the company have a legitimate interest or legal obligation to hold and use your data; those emails may still keep coming through.
What then, if anything should I do? – Your three step guide!
1. Do not ignore all the emails.
At least give them a cursory glance to check they are not coming from a company that you value hearing from – hopefully Bolt Burdon will be in that category! If you do nothing you have not provided your consent and you should not receive any marketing information from that company again.
2. Decide whether you want to provide your consent and be clear what you are consenting to.
Consent must now be explicit and freely given; companies can no longer rely on a pre-ticked box or your silence in order to send you marketing correspondence, giving you as individuals more choice about what you receive. Most of the emails should therefore be clear as to what your consent means and what you will receive if you “Subscribe”. For example our e-mail gives you the option to consent to receiving just eNews, just invites to our events or both.
3. Tick the box or ignore
Having decided whether you want to hear from the company and what information you want to receive, you then need to follow the procedures that will be outlined in the e-mail or on a website page. If you decide at this stage you do not want to hear from this company then simply close the e-mail and delete it or you may be given an unsubscribe option to tick.
We hope this checklist will help you to deal with the recent assault on your inbox and that you will be happy to give us your consent so that next Friday another helpful lunchtime eNews will land in your less crowded in-box. Please do look out for our e-mail (or just click this link).
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