Corporate and commercial Associate, Declan Goodwin, explains the PECR - and how they sit alongside the General Data Protection Regulations.
The General Data Protection Regulations come into force next May, and will make it much harder for companies to use data for marketing purposes in the manner that they currently do. Consent will need to be specific – and ‘informed’ – and consumers will need to know exactly what they’re signing up to, before companies can contact them.
Sitting alongside the current Data Protection Act (which the GDPR will replace), are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR). These are currently being updated in line with GDPR. There has been little mention of PECR in the media so far, even though PECR will have as much of an impact on e-retailers and organisations that market via email as GDPR.
The intention is for PECR's replacement to come into force at the same time as the GDPR, but this is an extremely ambitious timetable. PECR provides e-retailers and email marketeers with the ability to market similar goods and services to existing customers via email on an opt-out basis. E-retailers will be hoping that this will remain in PECR's replacement, or email marketing could become much more difficult.
An interesting one to watch!
In the meantime, if you’re interested in the GDPR (either for commercial or HR purposes), we’re hosting several events that’ll provide you all the information you need to know.
PECR are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. Their full title is The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. They are derived from European law. They implement European Directive 2002/58/EC, also known as ‘the e-privacy Directive’. The e-privacy Directive complements the existing data protection regime and sets out more-specific privacy rights on electronic communications. It recognises that widespread public access to digital mobile networks and the internet opens up new possibilities for businesses and users, but also new risks to their privacy. PECR have been amended four times. The more recent changes were made in 2015, to allow emergency text alerts and to make it easier to take action for breaches of the marketing rules.