“Since 1998, the world has changed completely. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) were drafted in 2003 to complement the DPA by defining, in detail, how and when organisations can contact individuals. It forms the basis of all current direct marketing legislation. If you work in direct marketing, you’ll recognise a lot of the principles, such as providing an easy way to opt out of marketing emails, screening phone calls against a “do not call” list, and always stating exactly how you plan on using personal information, and for how long.
The digital world evolves at a rapid pace, however, and many now feel that both the DPA and the PECR no longer provide adequate protection against organisations looking to get their hands on European citizens’ data. This view was recently backed by the European Court of Justice who declared “Safe Harbour” to be invalid in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations.
The agreement, the European Court of Justice argued, no longer guaranteed the safety of European data and American companies, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, would now have to establish individual agreements, known as model contract clauses, in order to transfer data across the Atlantic.
This has fairly large implications for digital marketing, which relies on the free exchange of personal information across borders in a range of forms.” – Rob Diggle, Databroker, February 23rd 2016
This article from Rob Diggle highlights that GDPR is symptomatic of a global recognition that current data protection laws are inadequate and outdated. Take the UK for instance; our last significant reform was back in 1993 long before the invention of current email marketing systems and their extensive tracking capabilities.
According to estimates from the European Commission the value of personal data has the potential to grow to nearly €1 trillion annually by 2020. With such high stakes its a surprise these reforms haven’t come about sooner…
Rob’s article offers great insight into the issues these laws raise for digital marketers and is well worth a read.