Please note the Law may have changed since the publication of article.
Internet law specialist, Simon Halberstam says that companies considering email marketing campaigns need to consider some basic legal issues before spending money on such campaigns. “Ask yourself where the email address came from and whether the person whose email address it is agreed to be marketed to in this way. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, personal data which includes email addresses, can only be used for the specified purpose it was collected for. This means if a person hasn’t agreed to being marketed by email, you might find yourself in breach of the DPA.”
But Data Protection is not the only issue to be aware of. Simon says that “From a legal perspective, bulk emailing may be considered spamming. Whilst there is no specific legislation in the UK against spamming, it can be considered a civil wrong under the Interference With Goods Act 1977 and damages may be awarded against you for it. In certain circumstances the Computer Misuse Act 1990 which carries criminal sanctions may also apply. Also, it is not always easy to ascertain the location of a person to whom you send bulk email and if you send it to a person in a country such as the US which does have anti-spamming laws, you may face prosecution under these.”
© This article is copyright Simon Halberstam 2008 and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion in any specific facts or circumstances. the contents are intended for generic information purposes only. You are urged to contact a suitably qualified lawyer for specific advice.