Author Topic: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA  (Read 4925 times)

Offline mikem

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2019, 04:46:53 pm »
A short weblink could be printed on the membership cards, to get to members who might miss it otherwise...

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2019, 05:54:20 pm »
The current membership renewal process differentiates between DIMs and CIMs.  DIMs are dealt with individually so Martin's suggestion could be fitted in.  However CIMs are dealt with by contact between BCA and the club secretary.  That leaves the club secretary to make the onward contact on behalf of BCA. 

I guess for one year (and at a cost of around £2000 based on £1 per member assuming the 4000 email addresses / 1000 plus postal addresses split and forgetting the work load) BCA could by pass the club secretary and send a postal letter / email direct to the individual seeking permission to send them the newsletter.  I can see some problems but with planning one might hope they could be reduced.  As I said before - I am not volunteering but has someone got several weeks free to do it?

Clarity would be needed in the message sent so it remained within the law.  But presumably it would need to cover examples of things like CaveFest (and for that matter Hidden Earth and BCRA) as the sort of promotions / third party communications BCA would wish to send.

Offline 2xw

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2019, 10:15:36 pm »
Why can't the club secretary have a checkbox to tick whether a member has consented to receiving the newsletter? At no point should any pieces of paper be involved in the process, nor should any real volunteer hours be needed.

Perhaps better to wait until CIM membership is gotten rid of entirely then folks can just click a box when they renew themselves online.

Online cavemanmike

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2019, 10:25:38 pm »
I think it is the responsibility of the club executive to make it's members aware of what is required to sign up for the newsletter.we have to start somewhere otherwise we will end up with another Brexit stalemate

Offline Madness

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2019, 11:15:06 pm »
Sometimes you just have to 'get on with it' and do something. It might not be the perfect way of doing it, but if you wait for someone to come up with the 'perfect way' then it's likely that nothing will get done.

There's nothing wrong with a plan changing/evolving as you go along.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2019, 09:57:26 pm »
2xw, in response. (I hope your having a good time away :) ) David Rose's newsletters are very good and I get them twice, so  very grateful of the effort he goes to, especially given I can look at them online (thrice) as well.

But, it needs to come from the individual themselves.

Imagine you walk into a bar and say that bloke down the other end over there wants a particular pint and will pay for it themselves.

Great.


If it's a non descript alcohol drinker down that end then they might be happy. but otherwise, you've made them pay, for what? a drink they didn't want?


I remember getting in trouble at school when a little [person] pressed the buttons on a vending machine for me and a different drink popped out, so I thrust the [person] against the wall. I'd have done it again a thousand times, some values you don't remit on.

Offline 2xw

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2019, 03:20:36 am »
Even better reason to get rid of the CIM membership.

There's an administrative burden in joining any organisation. This should be on the individual, at little cost, rather than the bulk pushed onto the BCA, at massive cost. The newsletter is a good example of where this occurs.

Offline mikem

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2019, 10:17:39 am »
BCA would loose a lot of members that way, so cost would be even greater...

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2019, 11:46:19 am »
What a lot of fuss over nothing.

Just send the newsletter to everyone, with a clear unsubscribe link that works. You will not get a single complaint. And even if you get loads of complaints, no one will sue, and ICO will do nothing.

Offline droid

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2019, 12:56:16 pm »
Mike's right.

ICO will have bigger fish to fry than a small specialist organisation like BCA. The legislation was designed to deal with spamming commercial firms, not things like BCA.
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Online David Rose

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #35 on: April 27, 2019, 12:57:41 pm »
Well said, Mike. Bang on.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2019, 11:22:48 am »
What a lot of fuss over nothing.

Just send the newsletter to everyone, with a clear unsubscribe link that works. You will not get a single complaint. And even if you get loads of complaints, no one will sue, and ICO will do nothing.

Absolutely agree with Mike but there is a snag: we are unable to do this if we don't have the email address of the individual to send it to.  Many clubs who provide lists of members for BCA CIM membership/insurance do not include the email addresses.  That's the problem!

We could make a start with those whose email addresses we do have by sending the Newsletter along with an accompanying note to say that if they do not wish to receive it they may unsubscribe.  I'm not sure if, according to the regulations, we have to include a note to say that if they wish to receive further copies they must subscribe - i.e. they must opt in, as opposed to opting out by unsubscribing.

But doing this would at least get us started.

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2019, 12:34:14 pm »
I'm not sure if, according to the regulations, we have to include a note to say that if they wish to receive further copies they must subscribe - i.e. they must opt in, as opposed to opting out by unsubscribing.

I think technically the regulations do not permit sending a single email any more than repeated emails. The receiver must opt in right from the start, and they must have been made clearly aware of what they are signing up for.

For this newsletter, of course, I don't think the letter of the law is worth worrying about.

Nevertheless, there are circumstances where the "single email, then opt in" plan would be reasonable. For example, I have a large number of customers who have not engaged with my business for several years. It would be pretty naughty of me to dump them all on a newsletter, but sending a single email -- "hey, we have a newsletter, would you like to keep updated?" -- would be reasonable.

Neither of these actions would be technically permitted by law (I think), but I think the latter would be in the spirit of the law.

For the BCA, any paid-up member has surely indicated some interested in caving / how it's being run / what's happening. Therefore signing them up to a regular newsletter seems within the spirit of the law.

It's also worth noting that some communications are deemed "essential for providing a service". These do not require explicit consent (consent is assumed). For example, if you buy something online, you are implicitly consenting for the seller to send emails related to that order ("your order will be delivered on Friday by a man wearing a top hat and an unsettling smile").

Offline droid

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2019, 01:57:45 pm »

For the BCA, any paid-up member has surely indicated some interested in caving / how it's being run / what's happening. Therefore signing them up to a regular newsletter seems within the spirit of the law.


Not necessarily.

They might have joined solely for the insurance benefit and have little or no interest in the running of the BCA

However, sending them a Newsletter every so often is hardly spamming.
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Offline Cavematt

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2019, 02:26:50 pm »
Back at the BCA meeting, there was uncertainty and no definitive answer to whether it was a breach of GDPR for the BCA to send newsletters to all members for who it has email addresses. Consequently, I (along with the majority of people in the room) was very much in favour of taking a positive and proactive interpretation and just getting on with it, citing 'legitimate interest' or whatever. This was in the knowledge that the worst case (and very unlikely) scenario would be a slap on the wrist and being told to stop.

The question has now been asked directly to the ICO by Alastair, and we now have a definitive response to say that the BCA would be breach of GDPR/PECR to send the newsletter to all members who have not specifically opted in. If the BCA now does continue to send newsletters out as planned to all members regardless, and just one person complains to the ICO and this is investigated, it would no longer be ignorance of the rules, but a deliberate decision to go against official and situation-specific ICO advice. This surely becomes a much more serious issue?

Part of me wishes the question had never been asked... but that's not a particularly sensible/rational perspective.

I still do not think we should necessarily give up and I believe there are still avenues to explore to make this happen. But the situation has changed since the BCA meeting when this was discussed and it may no longer be quite as simple as 'just do it' anymore. The BCA may struggle to find someone willing to action this when there is a now a direct and specific communication from the ICO saying that this would breach regulations. There is only so far most volunteers are willing to go to put their neck on the line.
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Offline mikem

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2019, 02:36:54 pm »
So, the only thing that reaches (almost) all members is the green / orange (?) cards...

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2019, 04:14:04 pm »
The simple way to reach the membership over this question of a newsletter is to make it a organisational issue so one can use the 4000 plus email addresses BCA already holds and thus only have to post out to some 1000 plus members at a cost of around £2000.  The challenge is getting a suitable message together either telling them it is now a condition of membership to receive the newsletter (with or without 3rd part stuff such as Hidden Earth) and that where an email address has been supplied, then it will be used or some other message. 

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2019, 04:28:32 pm »
....This surely becomes a much more serious issue?


It's not a serious issue. It's utter bullshit.
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Offline mikem

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2019, 04:37:53 pm »
Just think of all that cave passage that would never have been found if everyone was preoccupied by what if...?

Offline Jenny P

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2019, 04:51:21 pm »
The simple way to reach the membership over this question of a newsletter is to make it a organisational issue so one can use the 4000 plus email addresses BCA already holds and thus only have to post out to some 1000 plus members at a cost of around £2000.  The challenge is getting a suitable message together either telling them it is now a condition of membership to receive the newsletter (with or without 3rd part stuff such as Hidden Earth) and that where an email address has been supplied, then it will be used or some other message.

This seems pretty sensible to me - if we have 4000 email addresses already out of around 5000+ we could surely email those, as Bob suggests.  Wording a suitable message is the crucial part but it's got to be worth a try, even if we don't post out anything to the other 1000 or so members for the time being.  We could always assume that, once word gets around that there is a worthwhile Newsletter plus a chance to vote if you wish to, you might find that more people will sign up and so reduce the number you don't have emails for.  Then you will have a chance maybe to collect the rest when the next call for subscriptions goes out at the end of 2019 by adding a suitable message to the clubs who are collecting the CIM subscriptions.

It would certainly be a start.

Offline Cavematt

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2019, 06:38:11 pm »
Ian; It's easy to say such things are utter bullshit. And I agree that organisations like the BCA sending useful and relevant news to our members is almost certainly not what GDPR was ever meant to achieve. That part is definitely bullshit.

However, put yourselves in the shoes of the BCA Executive. They have been tasked with doing something which seemed a reasonably justified action back at the BCA Council meeting, but which we now have written confirmation from the ICO would be in breach of regulations. The stakes have changed. Therefore, it is pretty serious to now go ahead and carry out that action knowing the ICO have said we can't; I doubt any BCA Officer is going to be willing to actually undertake this action now.

It's very easy from someone not at the sharp end to sit behind a keyboard and declare such things bullshit. Less easy for those who actually have to action the decisions and are thus in the firing line in the very small chance it backfires.
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Offline Ian Adams

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2019, 08:28:46 pm »
Matt,

Please stop pandering to the minority left wing militant melts and please stop doom-mongering with words such as “serious”. I have followed your thread on the BCA secretary position and (although silent like so many others) am supportive of what you are doing.

Alistair approached the ICO with a loaded question and the answer that has been posted back is by no means definitive. It appears that some people (in this thread) have taken it as “Gospel” that the BCA must not (under any seeming circumstances whatsoever) send out newsletters without prior permission (blah de blah) under the apparent threat of reprisal action by the ICO. The momentum now includes rhetoric that BCA are “on notice” because they have been told the action is illegal.

See how this has ballooned into nonsense?

If the BCA were now to send out the newsletters you could bet your sweet puppy dog that one of those melts would report the matter to the ICO by way of a complaint. You know who would, I know who would and most of the folk on here know who would. This is nothing new or unsurprising, it is part of the crap we (the BCA members) have had to put up with, and still have to put up with.

There are a small number of people hellbent on control seemingly at almost any cost. Every single trick in the book is being played to thwart “progress” (just look at some of the items on the agenda for the forthcoming AGM – it’s evident there). You know (as well as most people) that we (the normal people who want a normal BCA) have had enough. You have stepped forward to bring about some much needed change. You will not do yourself any good (or any good to the main body of the BCA) by bowing down to regressive crybullys.

You know, I know and most people know, the refusal to send out newsletters to BCA members (whether or not it “technically” goes against the ICO guidelines) is complete tripe. It’s not marketing, it’s not spam, it’s not pr0n (hum, that word is P-O-R-N and has been altered by the script in case it is encountered by a snowflake) and it’s not politics (David portrays all sides for balance). To “block” the newsletter going out is puerile, iniquitous and damaging to the good name of the BCA.

No one is going to argue that the law intended to prevent BCA from bringing news to its members.

The newsletter should be sent out and people removed from the circular if they indicate they don’t want it.

That’s common sense and eminently reasonable.

People need to get a grip and this militant crap from a small minority has got to end.

Ian

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Offline Mark

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2019, 08:36:13 pm »
instead of emailing "the newsletter" to all members, can't an email be sent saying "New Newsletter published" with a link to the online newsletter, which can be downloaded or ignored whichever the individual chooses.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 08:47:50 pm by Mark »

Offline droid

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2019, 09:00:30 pm »
Ian Adams wins 'Rant of the Year' with that.

Is this a return to his CRoW 'debate' form? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Offline Madness

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2019, 09:26:48 pm »
The answer is simple, just send everyone with a known email address telling them that their next membership subscription will be going up by a penny/whatever.

In the very same email you could include a link for opting in to receiving an email newsletter. Then it's down to the individual to decide whether they want the newsletter or not.