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Why are people being asked to resubscribe to email mailing lists?

Have you recently been asked to 'opt in' or 'resubscribe' to a mailing list? If so, you're not alone.

New Data Protection laws, called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), take affect on May 25th. Being an EU directive it effects not just companies and organisations based in the EU, but also anyone who holds the personal data of EU citizens.

The new regulations cover many different aspects, such as:

  • The right to be forgotten
  • Fast reporting of Data Breaches
  • Increased fines and punishments
  • Measures to tackle data hoarding - only keeping what's needed
  • Steps to reduce the impact of automated profiling (think robots turning you down for health insurance)
  • Explicit constent

It's the last of these that is resulting in the many organisations asking you to resubscribe. If you previously signed up for a mailing list and the tick box was already checked, then your consent will be invalid. Now, this was a common practice, and so most organisations who want to keep mailing you are having to contact you and update their websites etc to make consent a empty tick box.

Some started early. Cancer Research have been urging supporters to go to their website and opt in since March 2017, under the slogan "Your tick helps us beat cancer soon”.

"Your tick helps us beat cancer soon”

Even football clubs are doing this. Manchester Utd have recently been running a big campaign to get people to resubscribe where they use their star players to convince fans to sign up.

So if you get an email or six through before May 25th asking you to resubscribe, now you know why.


World Wide Wesley

I'm World Wide Wesley, a technology polymath who loves all things digital.