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At the end of this month, GDPR will come into force and with companies still worrying about what the impact will be, we thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at what it will mean in practice. We will begin by taking a closer look at the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR) which deal with exemptions to Data Subject consent when it comes to electronic marketing.

According to the ICO, you must have consent to use data if you:

– Market by phone, email, text or fax;
– Use cookies or a similar technology on your website; or
– Compile a telephone directory (or a similar public directory).

There are two main exemptions under PECR for B2B marketing and where there has already been a soft opt-in.

B2B marketing

Business to business marketing for incorporated bodies, public sector organisations, government bodies etc are exempt. So as long as you are meeting ethical standards, there is no problem communicating with other companies.

However, be aware that sole traders, and employees of sole traders, are classified as individuals and must, therefore, be treated in the same way as private Data Subjects.

Soft opt-in

Where you can prove that you already have an existing relationship with individuals, sole traders and employees of sole traders, you can continue communications without the need to obtain additional consent.

Soft opt-in exists where a sale or negotiation of a sale has already occurred, i.e. you’ve bought something from them, or you’ve made an enquiry and they’ve responded to it. However, you must be able to provide proof that you have followed three criteria:

1. Are you marketing similar goods and services?
2. Did you inform the person at the time you collected their data that you would be using it for marketing purposes?
3. Did you inform them, at the time they agreed to opt-in, that they could opt out at any time? For instance, at end of an insurance quote phone call, when they asked if they could send occasional mail, did they also inform you that you can opt out?

If you can’t answer the three criteria positively:

● Stop marketing to that person.
● Potentially remove the person from your database.
● Find another mechanism of getting that person’s consent.

Consent emails

Many of us have received emails from the companies we deal with asking for us to sign up for consent. Unfortunately, when it comes to individuals, these emails are potentially in breach of PECR, leaving the companies concerned vulnerable to complaints. However, those being sent to business addresses are exempt from PECR, although when people use their work emails for personal purposes, e.g. buying things online which blurs the lines, is a breach committed? It would seem unfair of them to complain in those circumstances.

Different ways of collecting consent

So how do you capture consent without being in breach of PECR? One way is the old-fashioned method – snail mail! Postal communication is not covered by the Regulation because it is not electronic, so send customers a postcard inviting them to go online and update their preferences, or send a letter with a prepaid reply card they can fill in and pop in the post.

Another way would be to add a popup box on your website reminding people to update their preferences or sign up for information.

Or hand a paper form round at events, as we do at our breakfast briefings, asking for attendees’ email details and their consent to keep in touch.

Please note that the use of telephones does count as electronic communication and therefore falls under both GDPR and PECR. In the case of B2B calls, you may only make live calls (i.e. not using an automatic dialer) to any business, not on TPS or CTPS. Calls to individuals and sole traders without their consent are not permitted.

If you would like help becoming GDPR-compliant, please contact our Hertfordshire GDPR consultants.

What our customers say

Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.

Luke Harrison
Keidan Harrison LLP

Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020.  They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully. The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.

The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.

Robin Illingworth
Managing Partner, Adams & Remers LLP

The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.

Martin David
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc

Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.

Carolyn Addison
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis

Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.

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Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC

The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.

Patrick Agar
Lambert Energy Advisory

It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.

Cindy Withey
Connect Dacorum

Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.

Stephen Pembury
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd

Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.

Charles Douglas
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP

The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.

Adam Helmy
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd

Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.

John Bell
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc

Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.

Clementine McKinley
COO, Perrett Laver Limited

Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.

Simon Lucas
Managing Director, Society Limited

The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.

Joe Menendez
CEO, The Vita Group

We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.

Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories

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