Anti-spam and direct marketing privacy guidelines

by DLA Piper

The Italian Data Protection Authority issued some guidelines aimed at setting out general regulations on privacy-related obligations concerning direct marketing practices and against spamming initiatives which provide very interesting insights.

The most interesting topics covered in the guidelines are the following:

Company email address

E-mail addresses structured like the following will be deemed to be personal email addresses i.e. data relating to individuals rather than companies for the purposes of Italian data protection law with the consequential need to comply with all the obligations prescribed by Italian data protection law and the possibility for the individual to rely on all the potential actions provided by data protection regulations. This was still an open issue for some aspects.

Opt-in for marketing communications

The general rule for the processing of personal data for marketing purposes is that it requires the prior express consent (opt-in) and it is not possible to merely either warn recipients of their right to object to the future delivery of marketing communications or require the consent to the delivery of marketing communications as part of a marketing communication itself. Such consent shall be recorded with reference to its date and the person giving it in order to be used as evidence of the consent.

No unique consent for products/services and privacy

It is not possible to obtain the privacy-related consent as part of a wider consent necessary to acquire a product/service and for instance two separate consents shall be required for the registration to a website and the opt-in to the delivery of marketing communications. Likewise, the privacy consent box cannot be pre-ticked, but customers shall be able to provide a separate consent for each data processing purpose.

This is a very frequent issue for businesses that obviously try to incorporate in a single consent both the acceptance of Ts&Cs and the consent to the delivery of marketing material.

Unique marketing consent for different channels of communication

Customers may be required to provide a unique marketing consent covering the different marketing practices (e.g. marketing via SMS, email, telephone, market surveys etc.) performed through the collected data provided that such practices are outlined in the privacy policy provided to customers and the latter are informed that the objection to the delivery of marketing communications relates to all the different channels of marketing communication.

This is a major change in the approach from the Italian Data Protection Authority since up until now, they requested a separate consent per channel of communication which was extremely burdensome for businesses.

Separate consent for marketing by third parties

An additional separate consent shall be required for the transfer of collected personal data to third parties for marketing purposes i.e. if the entity collecting the data is part of a larger group and wants that its affiliate company may use the collected data for the delivery of marketing communications relating to their products, an additional consent shall be required.

Also, such third parties shall be identified at least on the basis of their category of operation (e.g. finance, cloths or press material) and provide a privacy policy to customers before the delivery of marketing communications.

Social spamming

Privacy regulations apply also to communications sent for instance through private messages on Facebook or through Skype, WhatsApp or Messenger. On the contrary, if a person is a fan or a follower of a Facebook page or a Twitter account, it may be implied that the person consented to the delivery of marketing communications of on the page/account, but such delivery shall stop when the person unregisters from the page or ceases to follow the account.

The breach of the above mentioned obligations is subject to fines as well as criminal sanctions and therefore they cannot be underestimated.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© DLA Piper | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

DLA Piper

DLA Piper on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.