One of the interesting – and worrying pieces – of feedback we have been getting here at REaD Group during the Covid-19 crisis is around use of data hygiene products. As more and more businesses move on-line to reach and engage their customers, there seems to be a feeling that this removes the reason to clean the customer base.
The logic seems to be that if there is no mailing planned, and therefore nothing physical going to the address, then there is no need to ensure the person is still at that address, hasn’t moved or passed away. We have had this feedback from a university, a major retailer and a smaller charity.
I’m sorry, but I have some news for you – this isn’t a choice, it is the law!
Under section 5.1 (d) of GDPR, copied for interest below, the guidance is to ensure you keep any names and addresses you hold up to date. And not just because you might want to mail them or send something to them.
But don’t take our word for it, check with your compliance team.
Of course, there is a reason for this and it is about consumer trust. If I share personal details with you, I expect you to keep that information up to date. It is the least you can do really. As a consumer, I will try to share with you information on when my circumstances change but sometimes I will forget. So, using available tools to do so makes sense.
And that trust manifests itself in many ways, I will buy more from the brands I trust, that I believe are doing the right thing, that treat me in the right way.
Talking of brand, there is another side to this. One that is sadly very relevant right now and that is that some of your customers will have passed away. If you do not put measures in place to ensure you are screening your data to identify deceased contacts, could cause serious distress and brand damage. At REaD Group, we feel this is so important that we have created The Bereavement Register (TBR) Daily. TBR Daily allows you to match your data against the deaths that have been registered the day before to keep your data as up to date as possible.
So next time you find yourself thinking that you don’t need to clean the data that you hold – because you are currently not mailing – please think again! For your benefit and for the end consumer.
Relevant statement in the GDPR Article 5.1 (d):
Personal data shall be;
(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);