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Are you GDPR ready?

There are teams of consultants and legal departments drilling in to the details of GDPR and I have even heard of large corporate sales teams being advised to stop making marketing calls! I am not legally trained but I am up on GDPR where it relates to direct marketing and there is no need to panic. However it is time to act.

Once May 2018 arrives (when GDPR comes into force) you will need to have specific consent OR be processing your data under Legitimate Interest terms. The good news is although GDPR is in law now it won’t be enforced until May 2018. So for now, if your data subject has not opted out and is not on the TPS register then you will be able to call them. The best news is that you can call your data now and get consent for next year.

Legal and Procurement departments do not like the idea of being exposed to Legitimate Interest as it is not as clear cut as having consent. You need to be able to balance the interests and rights of your data subject against your own interests and of course be recording this information clearly. The Data Protection Network has produced a 32 page document for guidance on the use of Legitimate Interests.
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However contacting your customer base to gain the right sort of consent for GDPR will be a costly exercise. You may have been operating on an “opt-out” basis or not have been specific enough to meet the new standards.
There is a small window of opportunity to build/refresh your consent data before May 2018 when you will have to rely on Legitimate Interests to contact anyone without consent.
Following that (or possibly at the same time) the new E-Privacy regulation is due to be introduced and this will replace current PECR regulations. PECR sits on top of DPA and GDPR and therefore any conflicts will need to follow the rules of PECR/E-Privacy. We don’t know how this will turn out but the draft suggests a default of consent i.e. opt-in will be required, unless individual countries allow opt-out for business to business marketing.
The danger of doing nothing is that you could end up with a shrinking new business database or rely on Legitimate Interests. However E-Privacy could over-ride the option even to rely on Legitimate Interests!
We advise that you consider refreshing your opt-in data or gaining consent now whilst you can and of course here is where we can help with our team of highly trained telemarketing agents.

I would also refer you to and to look at the section on GDPR. This network has been founded by Rosemary Smith & Jenny Moseley, who have an extensive background in direct marketing and were part of the working party that has produced the guidance on the use of Legitimate Interests with the approval of the ICO.