Q&As

When marketing to sole traders, partnerships or small limited companies via text/e-mail do the recipients need to provide consent?

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/12/2016

The following Commercial Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • When marketing to sole traders, partnerships or small limited companies via text/e-mail do the recipients need to provide consent?

We have limited our research and comments to cover the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998). We have not commented on the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, SI 2003/2426 (PECR 2003) or the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

In its Guide to Privacy and electronic communications the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) explains how PECR fits in with the DPA 1998 as follows:

‘The Data Protection Act still applies if you are processing personal data. PECR just set out some extra rules for electronic communications. You must still comply with the Data Protection Act as well. In fact, regulation 4 explicitly says:

''Nothing in these Regulations shall relieve a person of his obligations under the Data Protection Act in relation to the processing of personal data.''

Naturally, there is some overlap, given that both aim to protect people’s privacy. Complying with PECR will help you comply with the Data Protection Act, and vice versa – but there are some differences and you must make sure you comply with both.

In particular, it’s important to realise that PECR apply even if you are not processing per

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