Opinion

New nightmare EC privacy regulations need to be explained

The EC Privacy Regulations will have massive implications for the industry. But few people understand them. So here's a briefing even a salesman could understand

From May 25 the new European privacy laws come into play and will determine how web users can be tracked online

·         The changes will require technology companies, retailers and other suppliers that track information online (usually via cookies) to seek consent from web users in order to do so

·         The law essentially allows a consumer to decide for themselves if they want to be tracked by a company

·         Companies track consumers with cookies to collect data on their online activity and interests. This helps them target offers to specific individuals. 

·         With this law, companies in the EU need permission to track people and companies outside of the EU working within the EU need to be aware of the changes - it affects how they market to consumers

·         The legislation impacts every marketer who interacts electronically with customers and prospects based in EU countries

·         Some companies, like Eloqua, will help marketers comply with the new opt-in requirements by automating the process of requesting opt-in consent from online visitors

·         It does this by automatically updating customers' databases with contacts' opt-in status

·         Users have to check a setting in the application to trigger the automated process, regardless of the recipient's country of residence

This was first published in May 2011

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