Would You Like Your Receipt Emailed To You?

Author:Ms Marie Scullion
Profession:Whitney Moore

E-receipts are becoming more common but what are you actually agreeing to when you hand over your email address? The Data Protection Commissioner ("DPC"), having received numerous complaints, carried out a series of audits to assess how organisations gather and process personal data in the course of providing e-receipts to customers. In a number of cases it was found that email addresses, gathered for the purpose of issuing e-receipts, were being used to subsequently issue marketing material.

Where an email address is collected for the sole purpose of sending an e-receipt, the customer should not subsequently receive marketing emails. The retailer must obtain the consent of the customer to be able to send on marketing information. Customers should also be given the option to receive just the e-receipt and be able to opt out of receiving related marketing emails.

As discussed in our article on consent, the onus will be on retailers to show that specific consent to receiving marketing messages was obtained. Guidelines have also issued from the DPC stating that, where an email address is obtained in the context of a receipt, these details may only be used for direct marketing by email if:

The product or service marketed is of a kind similar to that which was sold to the customer at the time their contact details were obtained; The customer was given the opportunity to object, in an easy manner and without charge, to their use for marketing purposes; Each time a marketing message is sent, the customer has the right to object to receipt of further messages; and The...

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