PECR is a law in the United Kingdom that emphasizes electronic marketing channels like call, text, emails, cookies, etc. giving people certain rights to protect their personal data.
Table of Content
- What is PECR?
- Why was PECR enacted?
- What are the regulations of PECR?
- PECR and GDPR
- PECR Violations
- Email marketing and PECR
- PECR and Cookies
- PECR Compliance
What is PECR?
The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 is a law in the United Kingdom enacted to protect individuals' personal data and privacy by making it illegal to send marketing communications without prior permission from the recipients. The list of actions include emails, text, and even transmitting of automated recorded message for direct marketing purposes through calls without prior consent of the concerned individual. PECR is also known as 'E -privacy directive,'
Why was PECR enacted?
With the advent of technology, many apps capture customers' personal data that can be used wrongly by businesses. The encroachment of businesses into the private lives of individuals with marketing mailers and text was seen as a violation of the privacy. PECR is an extension of the privacy laws and sets more stringent conditions on electronic communications for marketing. PECR protects customer's data giving them privacy to work freely.
What are the regulations of PECR?
PECR gives regulations regarding access to customer details to business organizations set up in the UK and EU, and these rules also apply to businesses which are currently operating in the UK. Even if a company is not based out of the UK or EU, it has to abide by data protection rules set out under Article 3 of GDPR while interacting with individuals in UK and EU.
PECR and GDPR
PECR is UK specific data protection law while GDPR is related to European data protection law. GDPR focuses on the collection and processing of personal data while PECR set rules for the same. However, PECR is not part of GDPR, but they both complement each other as organizations need to follow both the laws.
Under PECR, the information commissioner's office can issue admonishment and penalty. If the organization violates PECR, then it can be counted as a criminal offence. The actions of breaking the law can cost up to £500,000.
Email marketing and PECR
There are specific rules set under PECR which express the following regulations.
You can't send emails without prior permission. However, in some specific conditions, you can send emails to your existing customers without consent.
You can't hide your email address while sending marketing emails.
Customers must be able to unsubscribe if they do not wish to receive emails.
You must not support anyone to send emails that violate the law.
These same rules apply to instant messaging channels like SMS.
PECR and Cookies
The organizations must give the right information on their website or apps regarding the usage of cookies, and what data they will collect and the purpose behind collecting the cookies should be clear.
The customer must first permit businesses to use their cookies. Only after this can organizations have access to the cookies. However, some cookies do not require permission for usage like input cookies, multimedia content player cookies, authentication cookies, centric security cookies, etc.
To comply with the PECR regulations, the organizations must make some changes in their website as mentioned below:-
Cleaning up your website cookies
The organizations must clean unnecessary cookies from their website, which includes only that data which is required to run the website.
Dealing with third party suppliers
The organization needs to change the third party suppliers if they are not ready to make necessary changes in the website.
Provide proper cookie information
The customer needs to know what cookies the organization use, and why are they necessary. Hence, the organization needs to give details about all the cookies they will collect, and the customer must permit them to use the cookies.
Developing an alternative tracking option
For customers who do not permit cookies you will have to find alternate legal tracking options to get the required marketing information.
PECR is a safeguard against privacy intrusions by businesses and also lays down guidelines and regulations for companies to follow in UK and EU. One of the best ways to abide by this law while carrying out marketing is to build your email lists with prior permission. At Mailmodo we ensure that all emails are sent in accordance with laws and stipulations and also spread awareness for the same. Feel free to reach out to the Mailmodo team to understand how you can send a clean and safe email campaign that also brings results.