GDPR compliance

Why is the TUC asking you to opt back onto mailing lists?

Have you recently been asked to opt back into an email mailing list you were already subscribed to? If so, you’re not alone. It’s all to do with the changes to Data Protection regulations that come into effect on the 25th May.

These new laws, known as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), are tightening up Data Protection rules in many ways, with an emphasis on giving individual more rights on how their data is used.

One area this impacts on is mailing lists. Under the GDPR rules it is now necessary to get explicit consent to be signed up to a ‘marketing’ email list. For example, if registering on a website, users must now actively ‘click’ on a subscribe option.  Previously, many websites had pre-selected tick boxes for mailing lists. This no longer counts as ‘consent’.

Similarly, some mailing lists have been collected informally, though a piece of paper passed around at a TUC event for example. Emails collected in this way are also affected. People now need to be given formal information on what they are signing up for at the time.

As a result, many organisations have to go out and ask subscribers to opt back into their mailing lists in order to be able to continue emailing people after the GDPR comes into effect.  This process is referred to as ‘repapering’. This is affecting many organisations, from charities to football clubs. It is also impacting on unions.

I’ve been working with the TUC and unionlearn to help repaper a number of mailing lists and to ensure compliance with the GDPR. The TUC has no direct ‘members’ as such, instead unions affiliate to the TUC. As a result, the TUC needs explicit consent to contact union members and others on their mailing lists.

Not all email lists need to repaper. Some will have already asked users to actively opt in previously, while lists that are not for ‘marketing’ purposes do not necessarily have to go through this exercise. For example, a union can contact their own members with regards to union business, as this isn’t a marketing communication.

If you’re subscribed to any TUC or unionlearn email lists, please keep an eye out for an email asking you to resubscribe. If you don’t actively opt in via these emails, they will not be able to send you any more updates after the 25th May.