What Every Company Should Know About GDPR &Marketing Consent

Data privacy is becoming a growing concern regarding digitally storing and analyzing data. While a few decades ago, people did not consider data protection services, it all changed after the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Facebook faced in 2014. This gave rise to countries working towards providing data protection to their residents. 

GDPR and Marketing

In 2016, the European Union introduced its data privacy regulation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To put it simply, the GDPR is a legal framework that offers guidelines for collecting and processing the personal information of EU residents. It is the focal point of data privacy regulations worldwide. 

One of the most prevalent aspects of the GDPR is to obtain consent from the person before collecting or storing any of their information. This is especially important in the marketing sector, where consumer data is stored and analyzed to create targeted ads.

Moreover, the GDPR also offers comprehensive guidelines for getting consent when collecting data, and many businesses find themselves searching for a GDPR Representative for the best solution to staying compliant.

5 Aspects Of Obtaining Consumer Consent

Whether you are asking, “do I appoint a DPO?” or recruit an outsourced DPO, your organization needs to be aware of what constitutes valid consent. Since the GDPR, organizations have been scrambling to comply with the regulations to avoid heavy fines. 

Consent is the primary aspect of this law, and since marketing organizations are obtaining more data than ever before, compliance with this rule has become a must for businesses that want to operate in the EU. 

Every business should know the following facets of this rule:

Consent Should Be Free

One of the most important aspects of taking marketing consent is that it needs to be freely given. Let’s take the example of a service. You cannot ask a consumer to give consent before using your service. Any pre-condition towards obtaining consent will not be considered free and, in turn, will result in non-compliance with the GDPR.

If you have a website offering a product or service, you need to ensure that the consumer does not have to give consent just to continue on the website.

Consent Should Be Clear

Consent cannot be ambiguous. This means that you need to ensure that the consumer is aware of what they are consenting to when you obtain it. An example of this can be allowing websites to use cookies. You must clearly state how the website stores types of cookies and where they can and/or will be used. Consent will only be valid if all this information is shared with the consumer when obtaining consent.

Consent Needs To Be Specific

When obtaining consent, you need to be specific about what you want it for. Bundled consent falls under non-compliance in the GDPR. 

For example, if your consumer consents to marketing emails, your organization cannot assume that the consumer is giving consent to their data being stored and used for targeted ads. You need to obtain permission from the consumer every step of the way and cannot assume consent in any situation.

Consent Needs To Be Obtained Through Affirmative Action

The GDPR requires opt-in consent where the customer makes an affirmative action (ticking the consent box) to give valid consent. 

You will often see situations where a consent form will pop up with pre-ticked boxes. This is the opt-out process that does not comply with data privacy regulations. Opt-out consent can lead to non-compliance, resulting in heavy fines.

Consent Can Be Withdrawn

Once a consumer gives their consent, they should have the ability to withdraw it as and when they see fit. Organizations are also required to make the process of consent withdrawal easy for the customer. 

Furthermore, make it a practice to ask for consent again after an extended period. Consenting to a business using your data cannot be a lifetime commitment and needs to be renewed to stay compliant.

How Does Appointing A DPO Help?

A Data Protection Officer is recruited in an organization to deal with all compliance aspects. For marketing companies, it is important to appoint a DPO under the law. Most organizations opt for an outsourced DPO, which handles the compliance of several organizations at once. The DPO should be well-versed with all data privacy laws and ensure that the existing operations align with the restrictions and guidelines set by the GDPR.

Wrapping Up

The GDPR has caused a complete paradigm shift in the digital world, and the marketing sector is trying to stay compliant with all the regulations put forward. 

While compliance might be challenging, several benefits come from conforming to the law. An organization looking to grow while avoiding any fines or penalties needs to work on appointing a DPO as the first step on the path to compliance. Also, ensure that your employees are trained to understand and implement this law and know what to do if they see a process tilted towards non-compliance.