PECR 101: Everything You Need To Know

by Figaro Digital

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you will know about the looming May 25th deadline for the introduction of GDPR. You may have even (like us) started receiving emails from brands asking whether you’d like to stay in contact.

However, have you heard of PECR?

What Are The PECR 2018 Changes?

The Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR) are existing legislation that are complementary to the new GDPR. Where GDPR dictates how personal data should be handled, PECR focuses in on electronic marketing channels such as calls, emails, or texts. This will also cover apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger, as well as cookies, location data and privacy.

PECR is UK-specific, and therefore is super-ceded by the EU-wide e-Privacy Regulations. This does not have any bearing on the Data Protection Act though. As Regulation 4 states:

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

Do Privacy And Electronic Communications Regulations Apply To Your Work?

Most of the organisations PECR apply to provide public electronic communications networks or services, however they also apply to business that market by phone, email, text or fax, use cookies or tracking tech on their website, or have a telephone directory.

As a result, call centres are the largest type of organisations that will have to brush up on PECR, and the marketing industry should also work to ensure compliance. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says:

“We recommend that your marketing campaigns are always permission-based and you explain clearly what a person’s details will be used for. Provide a simple way for them to opt out of marketing messages and have a system in place for dealing with complaints.”

Please be aware that if you market to companies, rather than individuals, these rules still apply but are not so strict. Therefore, we would recommend discussing these regulations with a compliance professional.

Furthermore, if you will be partaking in international marketing campaigns, you will be required to abide to PECR, GDPR, and the nations’ laws. In this case, we would recommend getting global legal advice in order to stay on the right site of legislation.

What Happens If You Don’t Comply?

The ICO can reprimand organisations in a number of ways for breaching PECR, including:

• An audit
• Non-criminal enforcement
• Criminal prosecution
• A fine of up to £500,000.

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