I’m a member of a group on LinkedIn called ‘GDPR: Empowering Tomorrow’s Business’, which gives me the opportunity to post up all sorts of questions in relation to the new GDPR. I wanted to see what the response would be in relation to harvesting emails.
This was my question:
What are your thoughts on the harvesting of emails from a website where the contact details of the members are in the public domain (e.g. a professional body/organisation making available the contact details of its members)? If you made it clear where you found their name and email details, giving the person the opportunity to unsubscribe on your newsletter, would this be enough?
This was the Response:
A definite no under the GDPR. The advice was that many practices marketers have previously used to grow their databases won’t be compliant under the new GDPR compliancy rules. Basically, you need explicit consent from the email owner.
It was strongly advised that, if you currently have a contact list that you market to or send newsletters to, it’s important that you carry out a re-permission campaign before the GDPR deadline next May.
Your message to the people on your contact list needs to explicitly state what your intent is in using their information (i.e. name and email address); for example, to keep them up to date with what’s happening with your company and to promote other services and products as part of your newsletter. It is absolutely mandatory to make them aware you will not under any circumstance share their contact details with a third party.
Most importantly, make it abundantly clear they have the option to unsubscribe and that their details will be deleted from your contact list if they do.
It is going to be very interesting to see how many companies are properly aware of the legislation around marketing their services and products and how hugely important it is to carefully look after personal information under the GDPR.