Author Topic: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA  (Read 4924 times)

Offline NewStuff

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2019, 07:01:17 am »
Ian Adams wins 'Rant of the Year' with that.

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

To be fair, he has a very valid point. He's pissed off with yet more shenanigans.

I would have been very likely to express myself in a similar, if not more blunt, manner. However given that we're seeing the same old kinds of behaviour, and that this behaviour is still having the intended effect, we (DDDWH CC) will not be bothering with the BCA at all, despite the good intentions of many to change it. That means it doesn't affect us, I am no longer bothered about it, and as such it makes it a lot easier to sit at the sidelines and see what's happening when you don't have to urge on a horse in the race.

Whole damn thing needs to be razed and started from scratch, for the members, not the few who perceive some sort of power from "running things".
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline andrewmc

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2019, 08:16:38 am »
You can't use cheap tricks like 'make it a condition of membership to receive the newsletter' or 'add a bit of marketing onto a legitimate email'; there are rules about such things. I suspect that sending out a link _to_ marketing materials, rather than sending out the materials themselves, would also be considered iffy.

Clearly we all want to send the newsletter out to BCA members. Clearly the executive does not want to deliberately and knowingly break the law.

Most people (certainly Council) are agreed that we can send out a newsletter _in principle_. The only remaining issue is that it must not contain marketing, and this is a tricky one - particularly as we don't know what samples Alastair sent. Fortunately I'm sure the to-be-formed GDPR subcommittee can look at the issue carefully and find the maximum probably allowable content...

Part of the real issue is the separation from members caused by _some_ clubs. I have no desire to restrict clubs, and neither does Matt, but the BCA could do a better job of collecting club member information. Something as simple as a standardised form (which clubs have to give to members as a condition of club membership, if they don't use an online system) would do a lot (and also allow the BCA to guarantee that the relevant GDPR stuff had been given to the club members...).

Offline mikem

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2019, 08:51:24 am »
Will just have to send out an email to members with link to click & confirm they want newsletter. Send another email to club secretaries with a link to website asking them to forward it to members & copy that into Descent and ukcaving.

Then anyone who doesn't have an email address & you haven't heard from can be sent a notification with their membership card & you only have the problem of how do you find out if new members want it...

Or send out a newsletter with option of unsubscribing & everyone gets on with their lives.

Offline droid

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2019, 11:39:45 am »
To be fair, he has a very valid point. He's pissed off with yet more shenanigans.

Whole damn thing needs to be razed and started from scratch, for the members, not the few who perceive some sort of power from "running things".

Agreed on both points mate.

I don't see the need for such a convoluted system for a National organisation with so few members, a significant proportion of which are *probably* only in it for the insurance.

The only caveat I'd add is that Ian's point (and I've made much the same point myself, above) needs someone to take responsibility. It's easy to suggest someone ELSE does that.
No longer 'Exceptionally antagonistic' 'Deliberately inflammatory'

Offline Madness

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2019, 01:03:22 pm »
I'll make another suggestion!

Make sure the next BCA newsletter contains absolutely nothing that could be construed as 'Marketing' (however a sub-commitee would probably have to be formed to clarify that it actually didn't contain any.)

Then send it to everyone who's email address is known.

How long does the BCA need to prevaricate on this before anything gets done?

Or send me the newsletter in electronic format, and send me a list of email addresses, and I'm sure I can 'accidentally' send the news letter out.

Offline mikem

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2019, 01:06:06 pm »
Or send me the newsletter in electronic format, and send me a list of email addresses, and I'm sure I can 'accidentally' send the news letter out.
Yep, coz that would definitely be breaking the law 😉

Or you just volunteered to be editor...
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 01:20:34 pm by mikem »

Offline Madness

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #56 on: May 02, 2019, 05:33:39 pm »
'I'm always cocking stuff up on my computer m'lord' ;)

Online alastairgott

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2019, 06:06:48 pm »
Alistair approached the ICO with a loaded question and the answer that has been posted back is by no means definitive.

I approached them, not so I can "wave my nethers about" as you might like to put it, but because someone had raised it, and rather than splurge on in a never ending debate, I wanted clarification.

I'm ambivalent about receiving the newsletter. If it had been sent out in the first place without it being mentioned on here and therefore searchable by anyone wishing to search for terms "GDPR", "ICO" and other such "bull". Then the question would never have been asked.

Rather than quietly getting on with "making the BCA" better, whoever it was that mentioned it in the first place has done exactly the opposite, I don't know who it was, and frankly I couldn't care less.

If you want me to seek some "better" clarification from the ICO then I can escalate it.

Or you could send a link to the online newsletters round to all BCA clubs to put a link on their website, or a clickable link (like an amazon cart) to sign up to the Newsletter.

The last thing I want to hear of from a BCA meeting is problems or friction, I (personally) want to only hear good things about it [which is presumably the whole point in sending the newsletter out in the first place]. but sadly it seems that while "making it better" some seem to want to point out the flaws in it to start with.

Its like walking into a shop taking a loaf of bread to the counter and saying I bought bread from you a month ago and it went off in three days. Theres nothing they can do about it, so why bring it up.

Online alastairgott

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2019, 06:12:56 pm »

Or i'll send round a chain email to 10 of my friends sending the BCA newsletter out and asking for people to sign up to the newsletter and my 10 friends can find 10 more friends to send the BCA newsletter to. Till we have the newsletter being sent to people multiple times by all of their caving friends. that would get people annoyed enough to sign up to only receive it once!


Choose your solution, I've cocked up  :spank: , but want to help.

Offline Madness

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #59 on: May 02, 2019, 10:08:31 pm »
Alastair, you've not 'cocked up'. You've got off your arse and asked a question in an attempt to get clarification.

That's more than others have done and we should be appreciative of that. It seems that within the BCA there will always be someone who's not happy about someone else 'doing stuff' or making a decision.

There appears to be an element within the BCA council who are completely against change and will do their best to stop it. I can only assume they fear that their level of control will be diminished by any change.

Change will come, that I'm certain of. Whether it will be within the BCA or from the formation of an alternative national body is anybody's guess.

Offline mikem

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2019, 12:06:30 am »
Gotta love the fact that so many people assume the committee are doing it for the power trip and not the hassle & abuse they normally get...

Offline NewStuff

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2019, 06:04:44 am »
Gotta love the fact that so many people assume the committee are doing it for the power trip and not the hassle & abuse they normally get...
I suspect it's a few, not the majority. Problem is, those few cast a bad light on those who are intrerested in running things in the members interests, and not bolstering an ego. Unless you've taken a close interest in the antics happening over the last few years, it's not immediately obvious that this is the case. It looks like boards or commitees that I dare say many of us have experienced in other, non-caving, walks of life, where you are a minion and your opinion doesn't matter.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2019, 04:09:01 pm »
I think this thread makes the BCA council meetings look pretty good now


 :lol:

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2019, 12:06:01 pm »
For reasons I won't bore people with, I was looking at the privacy policy of https://www.calor.co.uk/shop/communityfund and found

The Promoter will use personal data for the following purposes:

  • administering the Fund, application, voting and award processes;
  • registering accounts on our website;
  • to verify identity and account registrations and to prevent duplicate accounts;
  • communications and notifications about the Fund with registered applicants and voters;
  • to prevent potential fraud or any other misuse of the Fund or Calor’s website;
  • communications about Community fund activity;
  • communications about Calor news and offers if a user has opted in; and
  • audience and project profile analysis to help improve and promote the fund in the future

So whilst Andrewmc may think it is a cheap trick; I suggest including something along the lines of "communications about BCA's and BCRA's activities" in the BCA privacy policy would pass muster.

Indeed if people like it, Alastair could go and ask the ICO what they think to provide reassurance.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #64 on: May 04, 2019, 08:09:28 pm »
I should probably have been a bit clearer... the following is of course just my opinion.

Consent has to be freely given. It can't be made a condition of a service or purchase if that service or purchase can be delivered or made without that consent being given. You can't, for example, require that customers sign up for your mailing list as a condition of buying a TV where that TV can easily be delivered without signing you up for the mailing list.
“Consent is presumed not to be freely given… if the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is dependent on the consent despite such consent not being necessary for such performance.” (a quote in the ICO guidelines from 'Recital 43', whatever that is)

Consequently you can't demand consent for things that BCA members don't need to have in order for BCA membership to be delivered.
The flip side of that is that you don't need to ask consent for those things that BCA members do have to have (such as transactional emails) or would legitimately expect to receive (non-marketing informational emails e.g. access issue emails).

The BCA should also (and does) have a privacy policy which explains what data is being processed and why. You don't have to agree to that privacy policy in a contractual way; either the processing is allowed and valid or it isn't (and is illegal). The BCA privacy policy can (by its own terms) be changed at any time.

The important detail in the Calor privacy policy (which they could also change at any time, I suspect) is that:
a) 'communications about Community fund activity' (i.e. transactional and informational communications under the Legal and Legitimate arguments) don't require consent, and
b) 'communications about Calor news and offers if a user has opted in' does require consent (because it is marketing).

We should not be sending unconsented marketing; everyone (well most people :P ) are agreed on that. The privacy policy can easily be changed to tweak the wording relating to emailing news to reflect the law (which is that you _can_ send news and information provided it is not marketing including furthering the aims and objectives of the BCA). We just need to make sure the newsletter doesn't contain marketing (or there is a 'censored' version).

We could have a consented mail list for campaigning emails, or just an 'uncensored' newsletter containing all sorts of political opinions :P

The point is that there is at least some good stuff we can send out, so we should do everything that we are allowed to to send it out!

Online Badlad

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #65 on: May 04, 2019, 09:58:47 pm »
Much here seems to hinge on whether the BCA newsletter is marketing or not.  Marketing in terms of data protection, according to one post above, is not defined.  That must lead to some flexibility in interpretation of the term.  A google dictionary definition states; marketing - noun - the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Anyway lets take a look at the January 2019 BCA newsletter.  It starts with an editorial followed by;

The Chairmans piece
AGM info
Vision & Reform - info and results from two questionnaires
Info about the Merdeka award
CNCC news - mostly on access
Cave fiction roundup - a review of cave related books
BCA caving insurance - inf on member benefit
News on possible future cave expedition insurance
CRoW and BMC - update and news on a meeting
Vision and reform - two stories on student assignments related to caving promotion
Resignation letter of P&I officer

I think it would be easy to defend this newsletter against any accusations of marketing.  Or if there are concerns for the editor to keep the future content even more marketing free.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #66 on: May 28, 2019, 01:01:23 pm »
I had reason to complain to the ICO over the Royal Mail using opt out boxes and have just got an answer.  In brief I quote:

"Pre-ticked consent boxes are banned under the GDPR. Whilst it does not specifically ban opt-out boxes, in our view these are essentially the same as pre-ticked boxes and are unlikely to comply with the GDPR’s requirements for consent... 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.
"

The equivalence of the "a sale" with 'joining BCA' seems not unreasonable if one has to say that "BCA is marketing itself" and the other two conditions can easily be complied with in the newsletter. 

Offline Cookie

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #67 on: May 28, 2019, 03:27:11 pm »
Hi Bob,

Yes that is exactly my preferred option as I outlined a while back in my post here https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=24666.msg308475#msg308475
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services

Online Badlad

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #68 on: May 28, 2019, 04:14:07 pm »
I've reason to have the personal phone number of an IC lead case officer.

I thought I would phone up and enquire about the BCA newsletter myself as this debate seems to be going round in circles with some folk determined to make it more difficult than it needs to be.  My contact could not see any reason why we should not send our newsletter out to our email list as long as we were not disclosing personal data in doing so.  We should have an unsubscribe option and we should make it clear that members will receive a newsletter as part of membership.  The type of news and information in our newsletter is not considered marketing.  In short they could really see no reason that if a complaint was made that it would be upheld.  So that is from the horses mouth.

I expect that how you ask the question may depend on what answer you get but, again, it is worth stating that even if there was an issue that had not been considered the ICO would suggest a plan of corrective action long before taking any punitive action themselves. 

Offline Cookie

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #69 on: May 28, 2019, 04:25:33 pm »
Can we have it in writing please? At the beginning of this thread we do have it in writing and it contradicts what you are saying.

I have proposed a perfectly workable solution however it needs some programming effort to deliver. You still need a system to track and record peoples opt-ins, or opt outs under the send the Newsletter and be dammed option.

If you can think of a manual system or provide a programmer to deliver a working system now, be my guest.

Otherwise it is a question of resources and priorities.
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 #70 on: May 28, 2019, 04:26:20 pm »
You said Cookie The other option is to exercise BCA's rights under the soft opt-in. That allows, as part of the joining/renewal process, BCA to send an email to ask the question.

The fascinating point of the ICO response is that no such opt in question need be asked the first time around.  It only requires that one gives them the right to say no / opt out on every occasion, including the first.  (If that was what you meant, then I apologise but your cited statement was not clear enough; I read it as an opt in requiring a positive reply.) 

Incorporating the opt out into the joining process is simple.  What is more complex is incorporating it into the renewal process given that requires clubs to forward the material and then for BCA to get the response (or a copy via the club).

I note there is a motion for a change to the constitution at the AGM.  Perhaps the simplest option is to include a statement with the opt out option along with the material sent out if the change passes the meeting.

I wonder if the Chair of the AGM will accept such a proposal as AoB; assuming the constitutional motion is passed.

Offline Cookie

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #71 on: May 28, 2019, 05:11:37 pm »
Absolutely. A useful clarification.

My plan was to automatically send out an email to each CIM as their joining/renewal reaches the BCA-Online database (requires a bit of programming effort). That email would welcome them/ thank them for rejoining and explain the services BCA offers to its members. As part of that there would be a button. Clicking the button would opt the member out of the Newsletter (a bit more programming effort).

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 #72 on: May 28, 2019, 06:46:37 pm »
Absolutely. A useful clarification.

I take that as an agreement with issuing a statement with the opt out option along with the material sent out if the constitutional change passes the meeting.  That way BCA talks with every member whether or not BCA holds their email address.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #73 on: May 28, 2019, 06:53:58 pm »
Seems simple to me.

I belong to several organisations which send me emailed Newsletters and I don't recall them ever asking me whether I wished them to do so - all have switched to using this option to replace their paper magazines which were previously sent out to all their members.  All these organisations include an unsubscribe box at the end of each Newsletter so I can, if I wish to, opt for them to be discontinued.

Attaching Cookie's suggested email to each CIM renewal would seem to be the best way to do this.  All it requires now is that Clubs supply their members' email addresses when they send in the club's CIM renewals list.  I am aware that currently some clubs do not do this and we would want all CIMs to be aware of the facility to receive the Newsletter if they want it. Hence it would seem worth while to have some kind of "advertising" of this fact (that an emailed Newsletter is available to all members who have supplied their email address), and to ensure that this "advertising" is brought to individual CIM's attention by means other than email.  Don't know how you do this but it can't be beyond someone's ingenuity.

Offline Cookie

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Re: ICO view on permission to send newsletters from BCA
« Reply #74 on: May 28, 2019, 07:13:35 pm »
Bob, no, you can't take that as agreement with issuing a statement ... It could well be a useful opportunity to contact all BCA members but it depends what is in the statement.

I'll point out the rules for post are far less onerous compared to electronic communication (emails, txt).

What is the point of offering an opt-out from electronic communication to those who've not supplied an email address?
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services