General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force on May 25, 2018 has prompted a number of questions concerning the use of MOT and service reminders.
Garage owners have been questioning if consent is required before MOT and service reminders can be sent to customers.
According to the Independent Garage Association (IGA), the processing of personal data requires a lawful basis before it can be carried out.
The IGA said: “If it is decided that consent is the most applicable basis for marketing operations, it will therefore be required in most circumstances where businesses have been sending out reminders and have previously not gained consent from customers.
“Ideally this will be in the form of a suitably composed written document that the customer signs.
“Moreover this requires to be obtained before any further reminders are sent out and this has understandably caused consternation amongst some of our members.”
An alternative to using consent is using legitimate interests as the lawful basis.
This is most appropriate where you use data in ways an individual would reasonably expect and which have a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing.
The Information Commissioners Office, the UK’s independent body set up to regulate information rights, has stated that legitimate interest is likely to apply to direct marketing.
Legitimate interests for MOT reminders
Before you can justify using legitimate interests for sending out MOT and/or service reminders by letter or phone, the IGA say you must ensure the following:
- The individual has previously not objected to receiving reminders.
- The marketing material is for the same and/or similar products or services.
- You provide a method to opt out of receiving the reminders on every one you send.
- You do not phone those individuals or businesses who have opted out of receiving marketing calls via the TPS/CPTS service.
The IGA adds that legitimate interests may not always be an appropriate basis for garages that intend to process personal data for the purposes of direct marketing by electronic means.
“This is because the e-privacy laws on electronic marketing – currently the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) – require that individuals give their consent to some forms of electronic marketing as well as conforming to the above conditions,” the IGA explains.
“You can continue sending electronic reminders and details of other offers to customers if you gave them the opportunity to opt out when they first received reminders from you and during subsequent marketing.
“However, if at any point, they were not given this opportunity, you will need their consent.”
For further assistance with GDPR compliance, the IGA offers on-site GDPR auditing and certification services to members.
Call the IGA on 0845 305 4230 to find out more or select ‘more details’ below for further information about the IGA.
Share your comments below.