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Lease Team

GDPR: now the dust is settling



As Julian Rose writes in his article on GDPR in the June edition of BrokerWorld, brokers needed to “find a pragmatic but compliant way to meet the GDPR.” Now that the D-Day has passed, we can start to reflect on how it went, and pick out the things that stood out to us about the whole exercise.

The first thing that was noticeable was the wide range of approaches used to grab the recipient’s attention. These included begging:  Don’t leave us; Don’t drive off into the Sunset; We’d hate to see you go. Or threatening: This is your last newsletter; Last Chance Saloon;  or anxious: Your Privacy is our Concern, We wouldn’t want you to miss out;  or unconcerned: We have updated our Privacy Policy - no action needed. 

What does this tell us? Well clearly the senders are selling something, for some digital is 100pct of their business, and the urgency and importance of attention-grabbing probably increases in proportion to the senders’ reliance on the digital channel for its revenues. All senders know that on average at least 80pct of their emails are routinely skipped, binned or auto-directed to a special folder, never to be looked at. Why do senders send out all these emails that they know won’t get read? Could it be that they win their advertisers based on the size of their email databases?

The second was that the senders had clearly been receiving widely differing advice about how to be compliant, because some were very strict and correct, while others sounded quite laid back almost to the point of “this doesn’t apply to us.”

We received a beautifully crafted email from Cambridge and Counties Bank, for example, with links to dozens of updated descriptions of what our personal data could or could not expect in its hands, a 10/10 Gold star piece of customer communication. On the other hand, we also received an email from one of the big commercial finance digital media outfits that said: If you don’t want to keep getting our news, please Opt Out (?), and there we were naively thinking that it had to be put the other way round, that the recipient had to Opt In! Both parties had obviously been advised by experts, but it must mean that one expert would be advising that you have to, and another advising that you don’t.

The third was that, ten days after D-Day, our inboxes still seem to be receiving quite a lot of the same stuff as before D-Day . . . so, did GDPR really come and make our personal data safe and banish unwanted emails, or was it just a dream after all?

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