Data collection for marketing purposes: Serious limits and precautions
With the huge number and advanced methods of marketing these days, data controllers must consider certain areas before using personal means of communication to send advertising or awareness-raising material.
Explicit consent from the target data subject must be obtained as implied consent will not be valid. Consent shall be given through an act that can be documented, such as signatures or digital consent forms.
The controller must also inform the data subject about the means of sending the advertising or awareness-raising material and provide and clarify the mechanism for the data subject to stop receiving such material quickly and easily whenever the data subject decides to do so.
Moreover, such advertising or awareness-raising material shall be free of charge. Of course, the data controller must also adhere to the related authorities’ requirements and rules concerning advertising, and obtain the necessary and required licenses to do so.
The data controller must also keep a record of the times and methods of consent provided by the data subject. Sending advertising or awareness-raising material shall be done by the entity to which the data subject has given consent to, not by any third party unless the consent was obtained by that third party after it clarified to the data subject the identity of the sender and the purpose of sending material, and after the entity has verified that the explicit consent of the data subject has been obtained per provisions of the personal data law.
Furthermore, to make sure that the language used is clear, the law states that neither the provisions contained in privacy policies on obtaining the consent of the data subject to receive advertising or awareness-raising messages nor requests for consent that are written in an unclear manner shall be valid.
Also, the data controller shall stop sending advertising or awareness-raising messages as soon as it receives a request from the data subject to stop sending such messages.
• Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi lawyer and legal consultant. Twitter: @dimah_alsharif