December 2, 2018 in Data Protection

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)


What PECR is and why you need to know about it

In answer to your First Question – Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

As to the Second Question – it provides the rules regarding sending marketing emails, text messages or telemarketing calls.

You thought GDPR covered all that nonsense. Well GDPR provides the lawful basis for processing personal data for marketing. The lawful basis can be either the giving of Consent or that it is a Legitimate Interest.

However, for either to apply there are additional rules under PECR that must be complied with.

Consent and Marketing Emails

Customers are divided into two categories:

  1. Individual subscribers that includes sole traders and partners.
  2. Other corporate subscribers.

Individual subscribers must have given their specific consent to receive marketing materials unless the soft opt-in applies. The soft opt in would apply to existing customers where you are marketing similar products and services. You must have given them the option to opt out when you collected the contact details and on every subsequent contact.

You can therefore not use bought in lists. Non-commercial organisations such as charities are not covered by the soft opt in.

Legitimate Interests and Marketing Emails

Direct marketing may be a legitimate interest. This can be if there is a relationship between the parties such as with a client. In any event there should be an assessment as to if the individual can reasonably expect the other party to use their data for that purpose.

Consent v Legitimate Interests

Provided all the requirements are complied with under GDPR, Consent is probably the safer route. It provides more certainty and continues until ended by the client. Legitimate interest is far vaguer and can be subject to dispute.

The Future – ePrivacy

A new ePrivacy law is coming in 2019 to replace PECR. It promises to compliment GDPR and provide rules on it’s implementation. There is speculation that the soft opt-in will be removed or at least limited. The exact form is not totally decided but watch this space.

For more details on current  rules then contact us.