The ICO has updated its guidance for Direct Marketing and there is evidence of a tougher stance from the Regulator, particularly on Consent.
The guidance offers more clarity surrounding how to obtain consent with new examples, although some argue it doesn’t go far enough. For example, organisations are warned against making consent a condition of subscribing to a service, “unless they can clearly demonstrate how consent to marketing is necessary for the service and why consent cannot be sought separately”.
In a specific example the ICO highlights a case where a Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application form was worded in such a way applicants could only opt-out if they unticked three boxes. Furthermore by unticking these boxes it meant they wouldn’t receive information such career and education opportunities. The Commission took the view that applicants felt obliged to let UCAS use their information for commercial purposes, for fear they would miss out on potentially beneficial information. UCAS was required to make changes.
The information provided and the opinions expressed in this document represent the views of the Data Protection Network. They do not constitute legal advice and cannot be construed as offering comprehensive guidance to the Data Protection Act 1998 or other statutory measures referred to in the document.