When using information supplied by Bisnode it's important that you as a customer follow the appropriate legislation that exist in each country. As a guide please use the below document that covers what legislation applies for telemarketing, fax marketing and e-mail marketing.
Privacy and electronic communications (EC Directive) regulations 2003
The Directive enables Member States to either authorise or prohibit the sending of commercial communications by electronic mail, which must be "clear and unambiguously" identifiable.
Member States can choose between: § An opt-in system Prior consent of the recipient required before sending of unsolicited commercial communication § An opt-out systemNo sending of unsolicited advertising to individuals who have mentioned in a register that they do not wish to receive commercial communication - service providers would regularly check these opt-out registers
The 2003 Regulations deal with the processing of electronic communications traffic data, location data and billing data, calling or connected line identification, directories of subscribers, the security of telecommunications services and the use of cookie type devices. These parts of the Regulations apply to the providers of telecommunications networks and telecommunications services. The 2003 Regulations also regulate the use of publicly available electronic communications services for direct marketing purposes.
Some of the rules apply to both individuals and corporate subscribers, which conduct unsolicited direct marketing activities by telephone, by fax, by electronic mail (this means text/video/picture messaging and email) and by automated calling systems. All 15 EU member states were required to implement this directive by 31st October 2003. As with the Data Protection Act, however, each country had the opportunity to amend the regulations to take into account cultural differences and differing business needs, and therefore not all member states were ready for implementation by this date.
The fact that each country has the opportunity to amend the regulations means that Pan-European Marketers need to be aware of the differences in regulations in different member states before carrying out marketing campaigns. In all cases, it is the law of the country where the Data Controller is based that will apply. For example, if Bisnode has collected data through its UK partner, LBM, UK law will apply.
The confusion arises where there is more than one Data Controller, for example, where data is collected in the UK by Bisnode and sold to a customer based in Germany. In this case, UK law is applicable for Bisnode and German law is applicable for the customer.
Direct marketing methods
Before describing the variations discussed in the previous section, it is important to define the three main types of marketing affected by the legislation.
- Telemarketing - The use of publicly available telecommunications services for the purposes of making unsolicited calls, for direct marketing purposes.
- Fax marketing - The use of publicly available telecommunications services for the unsolicited communication of material, for direct marketing purposes, by means of facsimile transmission, whether the called line is that of a subscriber who is an individual or that of a corporate subscriber.
- E-marketing - The use of electronic mail services for the unsolicited communication of material for direct marketing purposes to a personal or business e-mail address.
Business-to-business marketing implications by country
The following table provides a summary of the key implications for each of the three direct marketing methods brought about by national legislation or pending legislation in each of the main western European countries.
(1) Opt-in Prior consent must be received from the recipient before the marketing method can be used
(2) Opt-out No prior consent is required but the recipient must have the option to request removal from future marketing activity
(3) Data gathering Although this table summarizes data protection implications based on the legal situation in each country, as specified in the previous section, it is the law of the country where the Data Controller is based that will apply.
Austria – Opt-in legislation applies for all three forms of direct marketing.
Belgium – Opt-out applies to named individuals for telemarketing and fax marketing. Opt-in is required for email marketing.
Denmark – Opt-out applies to named individuals for telemarketing, opt-in for fax marketing and email marketing. The option must be given to allow opt-out on each email marketing communication.
Finland - Opt-out applies to named individuals for telemarketing, fax marketing and email marketing. The option must be given to allow opt-out on each email marketing communication.
France – Telemarketing, fax and email marketing are opt-out when marketing to all named individuals. However, email marketing can only be undertaken without prior consent if the email is business/function related and an opt-out option has to be provided for both the specific marketing activity and the database itself.
Germany – Opt-in legislation applies for all three forms of direct marketing to all named individuals, SOHO organizations and corporate entities.
Republic of Ireland - Opt-out applies to named individuals for telemarketing, fax marketing and email marketing. The option must be given to allow opt-out on each email marketing communication.
Norway – Opt-out applies to named individuals for telemarketing and fax marketing and opt-in for email marketing. The option must be given to allow opt-out on each email marketing communication. In addition, there is in existence a legal entity called the ‘Central Marketing Exclusion Register’. Lists need to be cleaned via this register prior to marketing in any medium. Norway is not part of the EU and therefore transfer of any data to Norway should be subject to the usual guidelines for transferring data outside the EU.
Sweden – Opt-out applies to all three forms of marketing where the recipient is a named individual. Transfer of data outside the EU is only permissible with the consent of the individual.
Switzerland – Opt-out applies to named individuals for telemarketing. Opt-in legislationapplies to fax and email marketing. Switzerland is not part of the EU and therefore transfer ofany data to Switzerland should be subject to the usual guidelines for transferring data outsidethe EU..
The Netherlands – Opt-out applies to named individuals for telemarketing, fax marketing and email marketing. The option must be given to allow opt-out on each email marketing communication.
United Kingdom – Telemarketing and fax marketing are opt-out. Furthermore, the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) register and a similar register for fax preference (FPS) are in place for named individuals who do not wish to receive these communications. Email marketing is opt-out provided that the email is business/function related and an opt-out option is provided on each communication.