I am employed in an online clothing company. One way this company markets its products is sending monthly magazines to previous customers on its new products or informing them of sales. They send this through both post and email.
My company needs to keep legislation in mind when using electronic mail for marketing purposes. The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations, is a redefined part of the Data Protection Act. This act includes laws on the use promotional emails.
The recipient must only receive similar products/services of what they have already purchased for example if a customer previous clothing brand they might be interested if that brand was on sale. They should also be given the option to refuse the use of their contact details for the purposes of direct marketing. For example my company would have to provide an option on every email sent for the customer to unsubscribe from the email list. If my company does not comply with this legislation, penalties can occur this includes £1000 fine.
My company will have to store customer’s personal details in order to send them promotional emails. The Data Protection Act upholds several requirements when handling personal data.
My company could fail to follow the data protection act if they use the customer’s data for something other than the original purpose for example if they sold the data to other companies, which doesn’t comply with principle 2. Another example could be if the company fails to update customer’s details when a change has been made, this does not comply with principle 4.
If my company breaches the DPA it can lead to serious penalties depending on the seriousness of the breach. It can be up to £500,000 fine and even prison sentences. - 5 references