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Newsletters and the GDPR

Newsletters are an important part of online marketing. However, with the upcoming GDPR, there are also some points to consider. This article contains the most important legal regulations for commercial email dispatch.

Newsletters and the GDPR
Ing. Philipp Doblhofer Ing. Philipp Doblhofer

Ing. Philipp Doblhofer

A large part of online marketing is newsletter distribution. Legally – not only due to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – there are several points to consider.

For a long time, Austria’s Telecommunications Act (TKG), for example, in § 107, has stipulated that unequivocal consent of each recipient is necessary for all direct advertising by email, as well as for bulk emails (at least 50 recipients). Before sending the mails, the so-called “ECG list” of the RTR (Regulatory Authority for Telecommunication and Broadcasting) must also be considered. Here, individuals and companies can register for free, to whom no advertising emails may be sent.

The GDPR regulates the consent process even more strictly than before – a double opt-in is absolutely necessary (consent via checkbox and an email confirmation before newsletter dispatch) to ensure that the specified email address really wants the newsletter (Article 7 of the GDPR). It is important when obtaining consent that the relevant checkbox is not pre-selected and that the consent can also be proven. It must be actively selected by the interested party! If this has not been done for existing subscribers in the past, it must be done by May 25, 2018, to be GDPR compliant.

In general, for newsletters, as well as for websites – there is an imprint as well as disclosure obligation. Necessary information includes, depending on whether it concerns “large websites” or “large newsletters” (potential to influence public opinion), among others, the (company) name and full address of the publisher and media owner, the business purpose, and the editorial policy.

As with anything else, paid insertions must also be clearly marked as “advertising”, “advertisement”, or “paid insertion”. Unsubscribing from the newsletter must always be possible immediately, free of charge, and without delay. It is best to include an unsubscribe link in each mailing. It is important to note that a confirmation of unsubscribing can be an unwanted mailing, and thus is not permissible.

Further information can be found at:…/E-Mail-Fax-Telefonwerbung-Telekommunikationsgesetz-Detail.html…/eu-dsgvo-newsletterversand-faq.html