Denham: Consent needed for electronic marketing

Denham: Consent needed for electronic marketing


Speaking at the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) conference on 23 February, Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, said that whilst the details of the new EU e-privacy regulation are still being debated, the current draft proposes opt-in as a default for all consumer marketing.

“Until the e-privacy regulation comes into force, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) will sit alongside the GDPR. That means electronic marketing will require consent. Yes, there is potential to use legitimate interests as a legal basis for processing in some circumstances, but you must be confident that you can rely on it,” Denham said.

“You say you will lose customers. I say you will have better engagement with them and be better able to direct more targeted marketing to them. You will have complete confidence that your customers have given informed consent.”

The ICO is working with the DMA to produce a Direct Marketing Guide. “We have provided input and feedback into sections on accountability and essentials of the GDPR and will continue to work with them. And, of course, our own Direct Marketing Code of Practice is still in the pipeline.”

Denham said that her office will soon publish an overview – a roadmap – of the Data Protection Bill in response to feedback that it was complex and confusing.

See Denham’s speech at the DMA at

Privacy Laws & Business has organised a GDPR Help! Roundtable: On the starting blocks – on 28 March 2018. Host: Kroll Discovery, London.

This peer group discussion will include when to use legitimate interests as a basis for processing together with other EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance process issues. Information is at and register by e-mailing

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