6 Oct, 2015 Changes to the EU Data Law 6 October 2015 Martin Hoyle Technical Director Change to the EU data law has been on the horizon for the past few years now – and rightly so. After all, the laws regarding the use of people data has not been updated for the past two decades and considering how much digital transformation we have seen in that time current laws are seriously out-of-date for contemporary marketing strategies. We live in a world inundated with prospect marketing and advertising. Whether you are watching television, scrolling through Facebook, shopping online or simply browsing webpages; you are likely to be sold to at every opportunity. Data is central to the success of these campaigns and the proposed changes to the data law will have a huge impact on not only how Digital Marketing Agencies use data, but how they store it too. The three main proposed changes to the EU Data Law include: Using Data Once and Only Once One of the main proposed changes to data law means companies will only be allowed to use personal data for a single purpose – if required for more than one purpose they will be required to gain explicit permission from the individual. This change will undeniably have an enormous impact on mainstream direct marketing activities such as prospecting and profiling. In addition to this proposed change, tracking and segmenting data will only be allowed if and when individuals grant explicit consent to do so; posing a huge threat to company databases. Opt In or Subscribe Content Reqired Most businesses utilising data capture points will already offer and opt out of receiving marketing material options. However, latest developments suggest that this is not enough to inform users how their data will be used in the future. Changes will see companies needing to gain more explicit consent from users in order to use their data – such as offering opt in / subscribe options along with email confirmations. Breaking The Law A period of transition will hopefully be grated to ensure businesses come up to speed with changes to the legislation; especially as huge fines are expected to issue for those to break the new laws. It is expected there will be a range of penalties dependant on the breach, however, each one will propose a huge financial penalties to companies. Although the proposed changes are not expected to take effect until late 2017, Digital Marketing Agencies should start tightening their data security and planning for the changes. There is little doubt that they changes will have an enormous effect on the digital marketing agencies, there are few which will see the changes as a bad thing. After all, Delivering messages to the right people should be at the forefront of any digital marketing campaign and these new proposed changes will ensure that your messages are doing just that.