• Gdpr
  • September 15, 2021

What are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003?

In the era of digital communication and big data, it is more important than ever to protect the rights and privacy of customers, whether these are individuals or other businesses. This is the purpose of the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

What are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003?

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) 2003 is the UK’s implementation of the EU ePrivacy Directive (Directive 2002/58/EC) and covers the privacy rights of customers when using electronic communication for marketing.  The PECR is about protecting consumers from misuse of their information and potential cybercrime.

What is the scope of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations?

The term ‘electronic communications’ may seem rather broad, but it can be narrowed down to the following types according to the PECR:

  • telephone calls, SMS messages, and emails used for the purposes of direct marketing
  • website cookies used to track the behaviour of visitors
  • security of public electronic communications services
  • the right to privacy when using electronic communications services.

If you use any of the above methods of electronic communications for marketing, you will need to ensure that your business is compliant at all times.

How can I ensure my business is compliant with the PECR?

The steps you will need to take to comply with the PECR will depend on the type of communications and the personal data you hold on clients and prospective clients. Some of the actions you may need to take include:

  • gaining the consent of customers to send them marketing material electronically (i.e. by calling, email, or texting them)
  • when making marketing calls, it is essential to explain who is calling
  • provide an address and freephone number if a customer you have contacted requests it
  • ensure that website visitors understand you use cookies, how these are used, and gain their consent to use them

The rules,i.e. opt-in/out, consent, and the information given, depending on whether the communication is between businesses and end consumers or between companies and on the methods of communication used.  

You can get legal assistance from LawBite

If you are unsure whether the PECR affects your business and how to make the necessary changes to gain compliance, speak to one of the specialist data privacy lawyers at Lawbite. They will be able to guide you through the process and help you protect the rights and privacy of your customers.

Book your free 15-minute consultation here.

Additional useful information

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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