Thank GDPR, I’m So Popular

GDPR cover the detail or face the billI don’t know whether it’s the same with you, but I’ve never been so popular this last week. All my old friends and companies I’ve barely heard of are getting in touch to thank me and ask me to stay on their databases for the sake of GDPR.

Some particular favourites stand out.


Companies that keep the email brief and then put a big button for me to opt back in.

Often these are for businesses that are not on my normal email lists so I’ve no idea if their address is genuine. The opening line is usually reassuring, but also a bit scary. The second line urges action to avoid mutual disaster. And then there is that big button to press to start.

Start what exactly? Because let’s face it this is exactly the modus operandi of a spear phisherman trying to access my computer to extract data. Which is one of the things that GDPR is trying to prevent. Business behaviour being what it is we know that most organisations have left it to the last day to comply, giving the bad guys perfect cover.

Wrong legal basis

The membership organisation with a 3 email campaign over the last 6 weeks that ends ‘Goodbye it been a pleasure’ as a title and ‘opt-in now and stay connected’ as the lead line.

I loved the campaign until that last email as they had shown thought and organisation. Sadly they had also missed the point of GDPR. As a membership organisation we have a legal contract. For them it is to stay in touch and deliver the newsletters and information I signed up for in exchange for my money. They already have my documented consent renewed annually so what they really wanted to check was how I wished to be contacted. This is good marketing not GDPR.

Desperate Last Minuters

These are more often by phone than email. Although there are some classic examples by email including one where I unsubscribed last week!

It is clear that they have a database of names and address they must ring before the deadline. If only to claim that they have been in contact and holding my data is of legitimate interest.

Can’t wait for Monday for the emails telling me that I’ve been fined- because of course the ICO will have worked the bank holiday weekend to catch the unwary. Or not!