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Belgian DPA issues guidelines on Direct Marketing Belgian DPA issues guidelines on Direct Marketing

On 17 January 2020, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) published new guidelines relating to the processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes. By introducing these new guidelines, the Belgian DPA wants to create more (legal) certainty for companies on how to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when making use of direct marketing. This is the first post-GDPR recommendation of the DPA. 

What is “Direct Marketing”?

In its guidelines, the Belgian DPA provides a definition of what is to be understood under direct marketing:

“Any communication, in any form, solicited or unsolicited, originating from an organisation or a natural person and directed at the promotion or sales of services, goods (whether or not against payment) as well as trademarks or ideas, addressed by an organisation or natural person active in a commercial or non-commercial context, which is directly directed to one or more natural persons in a private or professional context and which entails the processing of personal data.

Furthermore, the Belgian DPA has clarified every element of this definition by making use of practical examples.

How to be compliant and protect the personal data when making use of direct marketing

The Belgian DPA has made several recommendations in its guidelines on how to be compliant and how to protect personal data. Moreover, it has identified several elements that need to be taken into account when processing personal data for direct marketing purposes:

  • Qualify all actors and GDPR provisions that are involved in the direct marketing process;
  • Determine the processing purposes;
  • Define the processing operations;
  • Identify the data that is required for your purpose;
  • Verify your legal processing ground when processing personal data for direct marketing purposes; and
  • Be transparent with the data subject.

 

The Belgian DPA further explains the lawful and appropriate legal basis - including criteria that need to be met - for the processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes. 

Approach

Although no similar guidance has yet been published for the use of cookies, the publication of these detailed guidelines containing practical examples are encouraged by many companies and other stakeholders. We look forward to receiving additional guidance in the near future, covering different topics of the GDPR including “best practice approaches”

(This article is a summary of a longer analysis which can be found on the K law website)

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