Can you recover your lost email opt-ins?

Seven months on and I continue to hear of #sportsbiz rights owners who were unfortunately advised to send an “opt in” email as a result of the GDPR. These advisors (who were also working in the non-sports industry as the multiple “opt in” emails I received demonstrate) have clearly missed the point of having an opt-in in the first place – if you have to email someone to ask them to opt-in, then you didn’t have the right to email them in the first place.

In case anyone reading this still believes you can email someone asking them to opt-in to receive email, please read the text in the image above, lifted directly from ICO’s publication “Data Protection Act – Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations”. You can read the full text here.

We’ve been working with clients to implement processes where some of their data did not have a clear “opt-in” – a common occurrence especially with legacy data – and our discussions have centred around two key themes:

1) Legitimate Interest

Under GDPR, “consent” is not the only basis on which you can process personal data, indeed there are six lawful bases for processing and within these, legitimate interest “is the most flexible lawful basis for processing” according to ICO. So how many of you have given consideration to “legitimate interest” when it comes to your fans and other stakeholders? You can read more about it on ICO’s website here but the principle behind legitimate interest is you are using a subject’s data “in ways they would reasonably expect and which have a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing.” I can imagine multiple situations in the world of sport where legitimate interest has a role to play.

2) Soft opt-in under PECR

I continue to come across #sportsbiz rights owners who sell tickets, membership, merchandise, development camps, stadium tours, etc, yet their advisors have neglected to inform them of the soft opt-in under PECR. The soft opt-in enables you to send marketing emails when contact details have been secured in the course of a sale of a product or service. There are several criteria that have to be taken into consideration in the soft opt-in process but if you weren’t aware of it at all, then you’re missing an opportunity.

We are now working with clients to try and “unravel” the situation they find themselves in as a result of sending an “opt in email” and while we can’t fully reverse or recover all of their deleted data, we can have some impact on the size of their lists.

Can we help?

If you are a #sportsbiz rights owner that sent an opt in email, decimating your existing lists in the process, and would like to explore any option you might have to recover some of your contacts, please let me know and we’ll see if we can help you.

There’s no silver bullet in this situation, but given the value of your data for targeted and personalised communication isn’t it worth having a considered discussion with someone who understands legitimate interest and the PECR?