One of my legal clients produced a helpful update recently on the impact of Data Protection on digital marketing. Some of the key issues covered include:

Collecting client data
* You can only collect data if you have good reason to do so
* Ensure clients are aware that you are collecting their data by have a fair processing notice (FPN)
* Include the FPN in your web site privacy policy
* Check the security implications if you collect bank or credit card details

Storing client data
* Keep information secure – limit information on mobile devices
* Regularly spring clean databases to ensure accuracy
* Only store information for the purpose it was collected for (e.g. take care with past delegate lists)

Opting in and opting out
* Always give people the option to opt in and opt out (subscribe)
* Retain details of opt outs (don’t just delete them)
* Do not offer pre-ticked boxes on opt in options

Sending solicited material
* If a business has contacted your business requesting information you can send it out even if they are on an opt out list or registered with a preference service

Sending unsolicited material by post or telephone
* You can contact businesses unless they have stated they do not wish to receive material (check preference services regularly – there is also one for fax). The professions should note that some professional rules forbid the use of telephone selling to private individuals

Sending unsolicited material by SMS, fax or email
* You generally need explicit consent from individuals (but not businesses) to do this
* Check also the preference services
* The soft opt in is where your business has collected SMS or email details when negotiating or selling to them and these details can be used in future to market the same or similar products or services without prior express consent

Using external databases
* Take legal advice to ensure you have the appropriate rights to use the information in the way you want
* Check external data providers comply with the regulations and regularly check the preference services

The full bulletin is available on the web site at