4 out of 10 residents of the country receive e-mail without their consent. letters with advertisements. Is it legal? | Business

Lawyers claim that some of these letters are still being sent illegally. They revealed how to respond to ads for those who receive them and what businesses need to know to avoid fines.

The results of the conducted research show that in the last 30 days, most of the time, mailbox advertising letters were received by men aged 18-25 and 36-45 years old, with higher education, living in big cities. 41 percent of the country’s residents answered that they did not receive such letters within the specified period, and 13 percent said that they did not know whether they were receiving advertisements that they did not want.

Personal archive photo/Renata Vasiliauskienė

The recipient’s consent is not always required

Sending direct marketing content requires the recipient’s prior, express and unequivocal consent. Therefore, there is a common misconception in society that newsletters or other direct advertising can only be received if the recipient agrees to it. However, this is not always true, says Renata Vasiliauskienė, COBALT’s senior lawyer:

“There is an exception in the Electronic Communications Act that allows a seller to use an existing customer’s email to send news. It is true that the information sent must be about similar goods and services of the same company. It is also important that the customer has not expressed an objection to receiving advertising at the time he disclosed his e-mail address. email address and could easily opt out of the newsletter if necessary.”

There are times when people forget that they did not object to receiving direct marketing messages when shopping or purchasing services. However, there are cases when companies disguise this so-called “opt-out” consent in such a way that buyers simply do not notice it, says R. Vasiliauskienė.

Look for an opt-out option in the letter

The most problems may arise for those who visit and shop online stores that do not belong to European jurisdiction, says the lawyer:

“Often, such senders abuse user data – they send unwanted advertising and do not give an opportunity to opt out.” However, there are no effective ways to combat them. Therefore, most of the responsibility falls on the users themselves – those who want to avoid such unwanted letters should pay attention to the reputation of the store where they shop, to make sure that after providing the data, it will not be sold or used to send unwanted information.”

Those who still receive advertising letters without consent should examine their content and look for an opportunity to refuse the advertisements, urges the lawyer. Because the vast majority of newsletter senders subject to European law have implemented the requirement to easily opt out of newsletters.

“It is important that users who do not want to receive promotional emails use this option. After doing this, the newsletters will normally no longer be sent. If, however, this does not help and advertisements continue to flow to e-mail. mail, you can contact the sender’s customer service department and notify in writing about your refusal to receive such letters. When this method does not help, you can contact the institutions that protect consumer rights, for example, the Consumer Rights Protection Service or the Data Protection Inspectorate,” says R. Vasiliauskienė.

Companies face fines

Sending newsletters and other direct marketing cannot be a surprise, says R. Vasiliauskienė. According to her, if a user is wondering why they received a direct advertisement from a company, it is likely that the sender lacked transparency.

Companies that send newsletters without complying with the requirements of the legislation – do not have correctly obtained consents or incorrectly use the exception of the Electronic Communications Act – can receive an administrative penalty.

“The penalty can be a warning, a mandatory order to delete illegally processed data, an order to stop sending newsletters or a monetary fine. The amount of the fine depends on the extent of the violation. In theory, companies may have to pay up to 4 percent of the company’s global revenue for the previous year.

This sanctions mechanism can be applied not only to companies established in the European Union. However, it is not very effective against third-party sellers, especially Chinese ones. This is because the supervisory authorities of the European Union encounter various formal and practical disturbances in supervising the implementation of administrative penalties at the international level”, says R. Vasiliauskienė.

A representative survey of the population’s opinion about how many people living in Lithuania receive promotional e-mails. letters to your personal e-mail mails, although they have not confirmed that they want to receive advertising, was carried out by the company “Spinter tirimai” in March 2024, after surveying 1009 Lithuanian residents between the ages of 18 and 75.

#residents #country #receive #email #consent #letters #advertisements #legal #Business
2024-04-14 00:22:34

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