Protecting consumers rights and enquiries!

It is integral to our processes that consumers are able to act upon their fundamental rights and withdraw marketing permission when and where they choose. In tandem with the Online Permission Library, REaD Group have built and created a bespoke preference management website (My Data Choices) which provides consumers a fast and easy way to manage their marketing preferences and suppress personal data from further processing.

Go to –

Sending emails post-GDPR requires REaD Group to consider the requirements of both GDPR and PECR. REaD Group is named in the Fair Processing Notices (FPN) at the point the email address and consent are collected.  REaD Group can therefore send emails to individuals in compliance with PECR on the basis of this consent. This means any client email campaign will be sent by REaD in association with the client. REaD Group must be the sender of the campaign as REaD Group holds the consent.

For Performance Marketing campaigns, this means that REaD Group is the Data Controller when the campaign is broadcast and the client becomes a data controller (and holds their own Consent) when an individual registers on the client’s landing page.


Yes. Businesses can use relocation data to track an existing customer to a new address under the basis of Legitimate Interest, when the individual already exists on their database and if the Privacy Policy states that the individual’s information will be updated with new information if it becomes available. Keeping addresses in your entire database accurate and up to date is also a legal obligation under GDPR Article 5.1.d.

The three key stages of a Legitimate Interest Assessment are:
1. Identify a Legitimate Interest i.e. what is the purpose of the processing
2. Carry out a Necessity test i.e. state why the processing of the data is necessary (and that another less intrusive option is not available)
3. Carry out a balancing test i.e. balancing of the rights and freedoms of the individual’s data which will be processed

If you are using Legitimate Interest as your legal basis for processing personal data, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) have stipulated you must carry out a Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA). An LIA is a three-part test. You need to:
1. Identify a legitimate interest
2. Show that the processing is necessary to achieve it
3. Balance it against the individual’s interests, rights and freedoms
You should keep a record of your Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA) to help you demonstrate compliance if required.
See an example LIA template provided by the Data Protection Network (DPN) here:
Guidance from ICO:

Legitimate Interests (LI) is the most flexible lawful basis for processing personal data under GDPR.  It is likely to be most appropriate where you use people’s data in ways they would reasonably expect and which have a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing.

However, if you choose to rely on legitimate interests, you are taking on extra responsibility and obligations for considering and balancing people’s rights and interests using a Legitimate Interest Assessment. The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) states clearly in their guidance that: the legitimate interests can be your own interests or the interests of third parties. They can include commercial interests, individual interests or broader societal benefits.

Defining Legitimate Interest sits at organisational level. For processing personal data for direct marketing it is the instigator of that marketing that must complete the Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA) and associated balancing test to document their LI.

It could be the legitimate interest of a charity to increase its donor base.

It could be the legitimate interest of a new business to obtain new customers via a marketing campaign.

Article 5 (1) (d) places a high burden on a data controller to ensure that personal data is kept accurate and up to date. All data processed (this includes mere storage) is subject to the same requirement and measures should be in place to regularly screen all data for changes. If a client maintains a name and address on its base then use of REaD’s suppression suite and its associated enrichment products is good evidence of having taken ‘every reasonable step’.

As a Regulation the GDPR is law not best practice. Although it does not specify a frequency for data cleaning it does states explicitly in article Article 5 that “Every reasonable step should be taken to ensure that personal data which are inaccurate are rectified or deleted” . By ‘reasonable’ it is imperative to have a trusted data cleaning process in place to evidence that you are adhering to this requirement

Telemarketing can be carried out using Legitimate Interest as the lawful basis of processing so long as the numbers are not used for automated cold calling (this requires consent). Considerations in any balancing test might include the time of day calls are made, an assessment of the vulnerability of the targets (possibly by the exclusion of certain age groups) and the frequency of calls.

Until the ePrivacy Regulation is enforceable – expected to be in 2020 (date to be confirmed) – The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) will continue to be the prevailing law governing electronic communications and messaging , including email, and this includes the provision for soft opt-in for marketing to existing customers.

If a company has obtained the contact details of the recipient of that electronic mail in the course of the sale or negotiations for the sale of a product or service to that recipient and the direct marketing is in respect of that person’s similar products and services only and the recipient has been given a simple means of refusing, then there is an option to use a ‘soft opt in’ as your lawful basis for processing.  However, you must have given the recipient a clear chance to opt out – both when you first collected their details, and in every communication you send.

The soft opt-in rule means you may be able to use electronic messaging to communicate with your existing customers, it does not apply to prospective customers or new contacts (which require consent).

Further details on PECR the ICO guide to PECR can be found here:

Article 5 (1) (d) places a high burden on a data controller to ensure that personal data is kept accurate and up to date.  All data processed (this includes mere storage) is subject to the same requirement and measures should be in place to regularly screen all data for changes.  If a client maintains a name and address on its base then use of REaD’s suppression suite and its associated enrichment products is good evidence of having taken ‘every reasonable step’.

No, it would be impossible for REaD or any other organisation in the industry to do this. However, REaD takes a number of steps and has implemented various safeguards to ensure the highest level of transparency for data subjects, including providing a comprehensive fair processing notice that makes clear that their personal data will be processed for the purposes of direct marketing by both REaD and the third parties accurately and comprehensively described. It is important for clients to bear in mind, however, that upon receipt of a list from REaD, the recipient is considered a data controller and must takes steps to comply with its own legal obligations as a data controller. This could include, for example, ensuring it has considered and decided upon an appropriate legal basis for handling and use of the personal data, using the information received from REaD in an appropriate and reasonable manner (and one expected by the data subject bearing in mind the information provided in the REaD fair processing notice) and by providing the data subject with its own fair processing notice when first making contact.

We require all new contributors to go through a strict Due Diligence audit programme. This establishes professional credentials and accreditations, levels of information security, methods of data capture and whether the contributor is an aggregator of data. In addition, to be a contributor to Active you must adhere to our GDPR Rules. These enable us to be satisfied that we have the lawful ground for processing, the date of data capture, the FPN given to the individual and if applicable any unbundled consents opting in to marketing.

No – deceased data is not subject to GDPR as the regulation only applies to living individuals. Our GAS and Qinetic products are name and address only and can be utilised on one of two lawful grounds – either as a legitimate interest or in fulfilment of a legal obligation to keep your data accurate and up to date. If you wish to use GAS Reactive or Qinetic to update one of your existing customer records, then you will do so based on complying with a legal obligation to keep your records up to date and accurate as you will already have established a lawful ground for holding that record. We strongly recommend that your terms and conditions state that you tell your customers that you will update their records.

We prefer to say that our products are GDPR Ready.   The rules governing electronic marketing did not change on 25 May 2018 as PECR still applies.   Our postal records are available as it is your legitimate interest to seek new customers.

REaD Group ensured that Active was GDPR ready by April 2018. We assessed all of our contributors to ensure that they provided GDPR standard data. This has resulted in Active largely remaining the same because email and mobile records already had to comply with the PECR regime. Our postal records may be used for postal marketing so long as the balancing test to assess the impact on the individual has been carried out and the threshold reached.


*For more information regarding Electronic Marketing please see PECR.

i.e Data where permission was previously obtained under the old legislation does not meet the standards of GDPR

In response to the additional requirements of GDPR, REaD is enhancing its safeguards to ensure all personal data is collected and made available by REaD in a compliant manner. Clients should be aware that some of the personal data REaD holds and makes available will have been collected before such additional safeguards were put in place. This does not mean, however, that such data cannot be relied on by clients in appropriate circumstances. REaD has always taken steps to ensure that data subjects were informed that their personal data would be used for direct marketing purposes, provided with information on the categories of third parties with which their personal data may be shared and used and given an opportunity to opt-out. Of course, as with any personal data received from REaD, the client must ensure it is taking appropriate steps to comply with its obligations as a data controller (as set out above).


*If a controller finds that the consent previously obtained under the old legislation does not meet the standards of GDPR consent, then controllers must assess whether the processing may be based on a different lawful basis, taking into account the conditions set by the GDPR. However, this is a one-off situation as controllers are moving from applying the Directive to applying the GDPR. Under the GDPR, it is not possible to swap between one lawful basis and another. If a controller is unable to renew consent in a compliant way and is also unable to make the transition to GDPR compliance by basing data processing on a different lawful basis while ensuring that continued processing is fair and accounted for, the processing activities must be stopped. In any event the controller needs to observe the principles of lawful, fair and transparent processing.

Consent: when you decide to buy a ticket for a concert, in that web page you would be asked if you want to receive any information regarding new concerts, new parties etc. If you check the box saying that you are happy to receive via email, text message, post, that is opt-in consent.

Performance of a contract: your internet/gas/water provider holds your personal data because they need that information to be able to give you the best service. They need to know where you live, your telephone number, and email to be able to get in contact with you whenever necessary regarding your contract.

Legal Obligation: Your bank needs to process your personal data to comply with its legal obligation to prevent fraud.

Vital Interest: your medical records that a doctor/hospital can hold regarding your health. They hold this information in order to help you in case of an emergency, for example, if they need to know your blood type, or check if you are an organ donor.

Legitimate Interest: if a new golf club is opening near you the owner may come to us and ask for a list of individuals within certain postcodes, aged between 18 and 60 who like golf.  We will provide that list on the basis that the golf club owner will contact you to see if you would be interested in becoming a member.

Public Task: processing of personal data is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority.  This basis can only be used by public sector organisations e.g. Government, local authorities.

DOWNLOAD a summary of the six bases for processing personal data

The personal data REaD makes available to clients is renewed regularly and is subject to a number of appropriate safeguards to ensure it is accurate, up-to-date and fit for purpose at the time it is provided to clients. However, if the client acts as a data controller it must take its own steps to ensure that it complies with its legal obligations. Please see article 14 GDPR.

Marketing by post does not necessarily require opt in consent.  The ICO has given guidance that it may be carried out based on legitimate interests. This means you will need to ensure that any FPN and/or Privacy Policy has told the individual that they may receive marketing by post, that they can opt-out at any time and that you have shown that the use is proportionate, has a minimal impact and that an individual would not be surprised to receive your campaign literature. All the postal data supplied by REaD Group will be a mix of permissioned data (consent and LI) and can be identified and selected on permission channel within our data base.

If you intend to rely on legitimate interests as the lawful ground for processing then first you must perform a balancing test to evaluate whether the interests or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the consumer will be overridden, taking into consideration the reasonable expectations of data subjects based on their relationship with REaD Group. You will need to consider whether a data subject can reasonably expect at the time and in the context of the collection of the personal data that processing for that purpose may take place. Our advice is to, at a minimum, ensure that any FPN includes a statement that personal data may be processed for marketing as a legitimate interest and ensure that it is clear to the individual that they may withdraw their permission to such processing at any time.

For more information see the DPN’s example balancing test

There are six lawful grounds for processing personal data: as part of the performance of a contract, with consent, as a legitimate interest, as a legal obligation, to protect the vital interests of the individual or if in the public interest. All grounds for processing are equally valid, it is for the controller to determine the correct legal basis for processing. GDPR specifically states that Direct Marketing may be considered to be a Legitimate Interest. The ICO has confirmed in guidance that organisations can rely on LI in order to carry out postal direct marketing so long as use of personal data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact and an individual is unlikely to be surprised or object. It is for clients to make this assessment on a case-by-case basis.

*You may be wondering what legitimate interest means and what our legitimate interest is. Our business as a marketing service provider rests upon us being able to process personal data for our clients’ direct marketing. If we could not do this then we would not have a business so we have a legitimate interest to do so. Our clients have a legitimate interest in finding new customers or making sure that they deliver the best products and services to existing customers by direct marketing. That on its own is not enough, we also have to balance these interests with yours. We consider whether you will expect to hear from our clients regarding new offers and whether you will be surprised to know that your personal data is in our database. If on balance we think
that you will be happy to receive offers and learn about new products on the market then we can process your data. If you do not want us to do so then tell us and your data will be removed from our database.