GDPR: Legitimate Interest, not for everyone | DMA

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GDPR: Legitimate Interest, not for everyone


In the run up to GDPR lawyers, advisors and commentators have debated the meaning of Legitimate Interest when applied to direct marketing. It offers the chance to release far greater volumes of your audience to contact than the 25-50% success rate you might expect when asking for consent.

But, does Legitimate Interest mean marketers can continue to contact anyone on their database by phone or mail?

As the ICO explain: “Your relationship with the individual also plays a part in determining whether the individual would reasonably expect the processing to occur.”

So, when applying Legitimate Interest to your whole audience it’s important to consider what different individuals deem to be reasonable, rather than looking at an activity in isolation. Some organisations are considering applying Legitimate Interest to direct mail communication in all circumstances, without necessarily considering the relevance of the particular communication.

fastmap’s risk assessment across some major organisations has highlighted the significant difference in expectations of different audience demographics.

The anonymised example below shows that whilst 79% of this audience considers contact via direct mail as acceptable when they are asked specifically about being contacted about different subjects their attitude is very different.

Researching the expectations of different profiles of your database in this way can help to build evidence to support your post-GDPR compliance strategy.

We have recently released a new Legitimate Interest service that and includes forewords from the Institute of Fundraising and international law firm DWF. For more information about fastmap’s research into GDPR and data protection, Legitimate Interest, consent and more visit or get in touch with David Cole, Managing Director, fastmap on +44 (0) 20 7242 0702

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