The question of permission and customers rights regarding marketing material is one that has privacy evangelists and marketers head to head. Many forms of direct marketing can be seen by the recipients as intrusive and disturbing and this has led to a bit of a backlash.
In some cases, this has spawned legislation (as in TPS in the UK) and in others, poor publicity via the national media and threats of further control from politicians.
But, out of all of the different direct marketing channels, email seems to be the quietest when it comes to public outrage.
With just over a month until the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 is enforced, it was high time that an organisation with the weight to set a precedent got off the fence and took a serious position on the matter.
Who better than the UK's Government Digital Service?
I’m not sure I expected the UK government to be the one to lead the charge on cookie law compliance, and I’m certain I didn’t expect them to be the ones to argue that web analytics are “essential”, but that’s exactly what they’ve done with their snappily titled Implementer Guide to Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECRs) for public sector websites.
So does it stand up to scrutiny? And more pressingly, does it get the rest of us out of a potentially difficult situation?