BY NOW your email is full of messages from organisations that you dimly remember dealing with, telling you that in order to comply with the forthcoming GDPR rules that come into effect on Friday, they're obliged to ask you to opt-in to emails.
Driven nuts yet? Us too.
So when we discovered that the vast majority of them are completely unnecessary, we thought that however annoying, we'd better tell you so you can sink into righteous but helpless indignation along with us.
The truth is, the vast majority of the nagging you're getting is the result of poor counsel and a needy, often exploitative desire to remind us they exist.
"Businesses are not required to automatically ‘repaper' or refresh all existing 1998 Act consents in preparation for the GDPR," said Toni Vitale of law firm Winckworth Sherwood in an interview with The Guardian.
"Even if you are relying on consent, that still does not mean you have to ask for consent again. Recital 171 of the GDPR makes clear you can continue to rely on any existing consent that was given in line with the GDPR requirements, and there's no need to seek fresh consent. Just make sure that your consent met the GDPR standard and that consents are properly documented."
So basically, if they didn't have the consent to contact you, they probably don't have the consent to email you to ask if you will opt in - in other words, a good chunk of these GDPR emails are retroactively illegal.
Some companies are getting around this by sending junk… sorry, Direct Mail and we've even heard of one of the big betting companies cold calling (ugh) to beg you to opt-in - which is way more invasive than a few ‘bacn' emails.
There is an upside of course. All these companies acting on duff advice will also have been told that they won't be allowed to contact you after Friday, so you're actually getting an inbox spring clean, just by ignoring them.
And the rest? Veiled threats of legal action ought to do it. Just goes to show that, even with EU legislation, there's no such thing as a good deed. µ
Footnote: For us as tech writers, the biggest pain has been emails from companies with an "angle" or an "opinion" that we can write about as an "opportunity" - so we're getting it from all sides. So, PRs reading this - please note, we don't need any more GDPR content. We've got plenty, thanks.
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