Author Topic: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA  (Read 4927 times)

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #100 on: May 30, 2019, 02:24:58 pm »
You can't change it because some people won't be forced to join... Truly a bright message of hope.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #101 on: May 30, 2019, 04:00:11 pm »
It would appear that there is a failure to appreciate the underlying problem which is one of clubs wanting insurance.  The advice we had whilst setting up BCA was that the only way to ensure clubs had insurance cover was to insure ALL of their members.  Many clubs want insurance cover to protect their officers, assets and more financially valuable members and thus set membership of BCA as a condition of joining their club. 

So we in BCA set up the CIM process where by a club could enrol all of its members into BCA so as to ensure that all their members obtained insurance as part of BCA's membership benefits.  It was the simplest set up we could think of and apart from the moderate number of cavers who are members of more than one club, the process works moderately efficiently.

That is until BCA comes to directly trying to contact all its members.  The 2010 poll required the then Secretary to correct every inaccurate post code of the whole membership.  (And of course, many of those corrections were promptly overwritten during the following year's renewal process.)  The 2016 ballot avoided this by emailing some 4000 members and using a different posting system who only required the address to have a post code as the final line.  Even that was a trial, as I bitterly recall.  Many of my problems were due to individuals not keeping their club abreast of their current address. 

I agree that getting the OK from new members should be easy if clubs did have a printed form with a section covering the application for BCA membership.  The problem lies with existing members because up until my posting on the 28th it was thought that BCA needed to have evidence of prior acceptance to send out the newsletter to them. 

I suggest the ICO ruling I cited allows BCA to assume such acceptance and only requires BCA to clearly advise on how to opt out within the newsletter.  That would deal with the 4000 odd members whose email addresses BCA currently holds.  Using either the possible ballot (assuming the forthcoming AGM votes positively for the constitutional change) or the 2020 membership renewal process, we could seek to obtain further email addresses.  I suggest that BCA should send out a newsletter and after the dust settles, review what further action should be taken.

I also accept that we failed on one aspect of setting up BCA, that being that clubs would relay information onwards to members. 

Online Cookie

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #102 on: May 30, 2019, 04:53:51 pm »
I've known for many months that the soft opt-in is the solution to the problem, as I posted here last April. The Post Office case study posted on the 28th was a useful confirmation that that is the right approach.

The problem has always been having the resources to implement the solution. Without a system in place to track the opt-out you can not proceed.

I've been abroad for a significant part of 2019. Now those expeditions are over I'm confident I have the time to implement the solution in time for the next Newsletter.
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #103 on: May 30, 2019, 05:34:43 pm »
The problem has always been having the resources to implement the solution. Without a system in place to track the opt-out you can not proceed.
BCA can afford to hire in additional resources to add it to the membership administrator's offical list of members' details.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #104 on: May 30, 2019, 07:26:05 pm »
I also accept that we failed on one aspect of setting up BCA, that being that clubs would relay information onwards to members. 

Another possible vector for failure is the presumption that regional councils forward information to member clubs.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #105 on: May 30, 2019, 09:04:45 pm »
Many of my problems were due to individuals not keeping their club abreast of their current address. 


It's not easy keeping everyone upto date with changes of address. I could (probably) be getting mail to 4 different addresses, just accidentally found an MOT renewal reminder at the TSG after having my tires replaced at kwik fit in Sheffield.  :shrug:


Realised this week that Earl is probably getting AA letters. Sorry Earl, address now changed. and I know that some mail has probably been going to other addresses too.  :blink:


The only place where I have found it easy to change address is DCRO, as they monitor your change of address at every training session.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #106 on: May 31, 2019, 12:01:34 am »
I've known for many months that the soft opt-in is the solution to the problem, as I posted here last April.

The 'soft opt-in' only covers commercial marketing. It doesn't cover marketing for aims and objectives of the organisation.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #107 on: May 31, 2019, 05:34:06 pm »
Many people seem to think that the BCA system, whereby anyone joining a club automatically joins the "national body" by paying the extra to have insurance, is strange.  It is actually relatively common among sports bodies because many clubs need to have insurance in order to be able to use their local sports hall, leisure centre or playing pitch.  And it's also common practice for the Secretary/Treasurer of the Club to administer this and collect the money on behalf of the national body.

(As an example, Badminton Association of England requires that any person playing badminton as part of the local league team must be a member of BAoE and this is checked because all match results have to be sent in.  [Almost all badminton players are keen to play in a team in the local leagues and some clubs enter 6 or 7 teams in various divisions.]  Any team fielding a player who is not a paid-up member of BAoE is automatically disqualified and loses the match.  As part of this arrangement the Club benefits from a £10m insurance, which is the almost universal requirement for hiring a venue nowadays.)

This is seen as the sensible and workable solution to a sports organisation obtaining the necessary numbers of signed-up members of the national association in order that a bulk deal for insurance can be done.  BCA is no different to many other sports organisations in the way it does this: relying on the Clubs to collect membership dues and pass them on to the national body in order that all members and clubs may benefit from insurance, etc.


Offline nearlywhite

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #108 on: May 31, 2019, 06:12:05 pm »
This is seen as the sensible and workable solution to a sports organisation obtaining the necessary numbers of signed-up members of the national association in order that a bulk deal for insurance can be done.  BCA is no different to many other sports organisations in the way it does this: relying on the Clubs to collect membership dues and pass them on to the national body in order that all members and clubs may benefit from insurance, etc.

Most Badminton 'clubs' I've been in haven't been members of their association although this is changing due to leisure centres requiring insurance as you said. That caused many casual clubs to disband and now clubs that were very common twenty years ago are quite hard to find now. I wouldn't want the same to happen to caving. I can't find the membership numbers and information for Badminton England though so I might be out of touch. I do know their coaching drive entirely changed when the olympic funding changed and my impression is that they are now far more commercial.

I agree though that clubs will still want to be members for liability issues. However if we lose people by making membership easier then the correct response is to change substantially to get those people back into the fold.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #109 on: May 31, 2019, 07:05:18 pm »
Don't forget that, re. Badminton Clubs, I am referring to clubs which want to enter teams in the leagues and play matches against other clubs and they join BAoE for the insurance and to be able to play league matches.  Problem with casual clubs is now that almost all halls suitable for playing require that the club has insurance cover and this can be prohibitively expensive for a single club to take out.

Having universal PL insurance cover for caving clubs isn't necessary for some caves but it is increasingly being required for major caves and for those covered by formal access agreements.  It also encourages the landowner to tolerate caving on his land, even if there is no formal agreement, because the BCA cover is perceived by many landowners to protect them against claims.  It isn't quite that simple but perception is everything.

Worth noting also that, as I understand it, BCA is not able to accept subscriptions by Annual Direct Debit at present, though it would be very useful to be able to pay membership subscriptions by that means.  There are apparently ways of doing it via a third party but there is a charge per person for this.  I know this has been looked at a number of times.  The other alternative I believe is PayPal, but not everyone has a PayPal account.

Offline Madness

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #110 on: May 31, 2019, 10:19:40 pm »
It's also worth noting that the 'governing bodies'/ 'national representative bodies' for most sports are self proclaimed. Whether it be Badminton or Caving the national representative body has not been elected by those taking part in the sport.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #111 on: June 03, 2019, 03:09:37 pm »
I have no idea how BAoE came about other than that it is a grouping of regional bodies who are themselves groupings of clubs, who are formed of individual members. 

I do know how NCA (and then BCA) came about because I was there at the inaugural meeting in 1968 and was appointed BCA's first Secretary in 1969.  NCA came about because the then regional councils (DCA, CNCC and CSCC) plus CRG, Pengelly and BSA got together to form a national body in the form of a "federation" of existing bodies because there was seen to be a need due to increasing government pressure on adventure sports.  CCC was formed a year later and also joined, along with the newly formed BCRC and the then BACI.  These bodies who were first involved were either themselves groupings of clubs or groupings of individual cavers with specific interests and their officers were, of course, elected by their individual caver members or by their club members.

NCA was formally accepted by the then Sports Council and CCPR as "the governing body for caving" - though the term "governing body" was strictly speaking meant for competitive sports.  After the Lyme Bay tragedy, there was pressure from the government to regulate adventure sports which did not regulate themselves and, because NCA was already in existence and recognised by the Sports Council, we were able to avoid any attempt at government interference or regulation and set up our own arrangements.

The adoption of individual membership of the national body for caving came about as part of the progression from NCA (a federation of clubs, regional and specialist bodies) to BCA in 2004, which currently has part individual membership, part club membership and part regional/specialist bodies membership.  BCA is still evolving, having come a very long way from its origins in NCA, which insisted that there should be NO individual membership and NO club membership of the national body.

Offline kat

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #112 on: June 04, 2019, 04:51:48 pm »
Worth noting also that, as I understand it, BCA is not able to accept subscriptions by Annual Direct Debit at present, though it would be very useful to be able to pay membership subscriptions by that means.  There are apparently ways of doing it via a third party but there is a charge per person for this.  I know this has been looked at a number of times.  The other alternative I believe is PayPal, but not everyone has a PayPal account.
[/quote]

Is there any reason why the BCA can't accept electronic bank transfers?

Offline Jenny P

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #113 on: June 04, 2019, 05:00:15 pm »
Worth noting also that, as I understand it, BCA is not able to accept subscriptions by Annual Direct Debit at present, though it would be very useful to be able to pay membership subscriptions by that means.  There are apparently ways of doing it via a third party but there is a charge per person for this.  I know this has been looked at a number of times.  The other alternative I believe is PayPal, but not everyone has a PayPal account.

Is there any reason why the BCA can't accept electronic bank transfers?
[/quote]

That's a question for the Membership Secretary and the Treasurer but I don't see why it shouldn't be OK for renewals if the details haven't changed.  As long as it is clear exactly who is paying and you have the correct BCA bank details.

I suspect the whole issue of how you renew and renewal reminders will be addressed this autumn as part of the issue of sorting out electronic voting, etc.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #114 on: June 04, 2019, 05:24:54 pm »
I think talk of Bank transfers/payments is taking the matter off topic. please can we keep it on topic.

I have recently contacted again.

Response:
Our reference: IC-13536-P6D0

Dear Mr Gott,

Thank you for your email of 30 May 2019 providing clarity to your concerns. I tried to contact you by phone to discuss the matter further, unfortunately, you were unavailable.

You refer to the use of soft opt-in regarding a case about Royal Mail. Please note that I cannot comment on cases other than your own. That being said, the use of the soft-opt in is relevant when an individual’s details have been obtained in the course of a sale (or negotiations for a sale) of a product or service and the further marketing correspondence is also in relation to selling similar products or services. As Royal Mail sells products and services it may be able to rely on the soft opt-in option in some circumstances. A newsletter would not satisfy the soft opt-in generally because they are sent to promote the aims and ideals of an organisation, rather than selling a particular product or service. In your specific instance, as the British Caving Association (BCA) have not specifically sold individuals a product or service unfortunately the conditions of the soft opt-in are not applicable.

Furthermore, for the soft-opt in to apply individuals must have been given a simple opportunity to refuse or opt out of the marketing correspondence, both when the data was first collected and on every marketing email sent thereafter. From the information you have given it is unclear whether the BCA gives members the opportunity to opt-out when their data is first collected and in every subsequent marketing correspondence; if not then, again, you wouldn’t be able to satisfy the requirements of the soft opt-in.

Along with the above, principle A of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is that of fairness, lawfulness and transparency. To this end, you must weigh up whether it is in the reasonable expectations of the data subjects to receive marketing from an organisation they did not necessarily wish to join directly. It is for these reasons that the soft-opt in would not be applicable to this specific processing activity.

More detailed information can be found in our guide to direct marketing.

My query:
Hi [BLANK] and the ICO casework team,

Sorry for the delay in replying to your email.

I need to revisit this case, as I do not think I explained the situation fully. and the issue is causing some consternation amongst members of the organisation.

Membership of the British caving association is made up of a few classes of people. The ones we are referring to are members of individual clubs.

At present for a club to join the British caving association, all people in the club must also be "Club individual members" (CIM's). on the website it says that all CIMs will receive an electronic newsletter as a benefit of membership. At present we have no way of checking whether people have been receiving these through their clubs as requested. british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=membership:cim

So a change has been suggested to shortcut the individual clubs and ensure that every member of the BCA is getting the information which comes as a membership benefit. Most of the people who are proposed to receive these newsletters via email probably already carry a British Caving Association card around with them in their wallet. Which is also manufactured by the BCA.

I have been made aware of two other contacts with the ICO, one of which unfortunately did not have a case reference, but another did.

My understanding of the case in question (RFA0815635) which was raised regarding the Royal mails use of data for advertising. Though I have to admit I was not privy to the original contact with the ICO, I have seen the reply, which outlines the soft opt-in which I believe is applicable to the BCA's case in this instance.

The reason I would propose similarities between the cases, is that the Post office offer a link to the Royal Mails Keepsafe service (under letters and parcels) https://www.postoffice.co.uk/contact-us
Despite the Royal mail and the Post office being separate businesses.
 I would surmise that their use of marketing followed the grey area outlined on the Post office website. In our case, yes the BCA and the member organisations are separate entities, but I would ask that another consideration were made regarding our case.

Extract from RFA0815635
"However, there is a limited exception to the requirement for specific consent under PECR, known as the soft opt-in. This means organisations can send marketing texts or emails if:

•   they have obtained the contact details in the course of a sale (or negotiations for a sale) of a product or service to that person;

•   they are only marketing their own similar products or services; and

•   they gave the person a simple opportunity to refuse or opt out of the marketing, both when first collecting the details and in every message after that.

It would appear the soft opt-in option would apply in this case as:

•   Royal Mail obtained your details during your purchase of its Keepsafe service;

•   Royal Mail is only seeking to market its own products and services to you;

•   Royal Mail gives customers the opportunity to refuse any or all forms of marketing, both when first collecting the customer’s preferences and in all communications after that. For more information on how it does this, please Royal Mail’s Group Privacy Notice at section 4, ‘Changing your Marketing Preferences’.

As a result, Royal Mail would not require consent in these specific circumstances and its use of opt-out boxes would not represent an infringement of the GDPR or a breach of PECR."

Offline alastairgott

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #115 on: June 04, 2019, 05:28:23 pm »
I will forward the comms to the people who contacted me in the wake of the first post on this thread. (BCA and BCRC).