California’s BOT Disclosure Law, SB 1001, Now In Effect

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The B.O.T. (“Bolstering Online Transparency”) Act, enacted last year pursuant to SB 1001, has gone into effect in California. As of July 1, it is unlawful for a person or entity to use a bot to communicate or interact online with a person in California in order to incentivize a sale or transaction of goods or services or to influence a vote in an election without disclosing that the communication is via a bot. The law defines a “bot” as “an automated online account where all or substantially all of the actions or posts of that account are not the result of a person.” The required disclosure must be clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed to inform persons with whom the bot communicates or interacts that it is a bot.

The law is the first of its kind enacted by a state legislature and applies only to communications with persons in California. In addition, it applies only to public-facing Internet Web sites, applications, or social networks that have at least 10 million monthly U.S. visitors or users. While the law contains no private right of action and expressly “does not impose a duty on service providers of online platforms,” failure to abide by the disclosure requirement, as enforced by the Attorney General, may constitute a violation of California’s unfair competition laws and result in fines and equitable remedies.

UK Information Commissioner’s Office Fines Direct Marketing Company for PECR Violation

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The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced that it has fined a direct marketing company, Everything DM Ltd. (EDML) £ 60,000 ($77,421) for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that unsolicited marketing emails sent on behalf of its clients complied with privacy laws applicable to electronic communications.

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Stay In Touch! Email Marketing After the GDPR

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Part I: Untangling the GDPR and the e-Privacy Directive

This is the first post in a four part series on GDPR and email marketing.

Your email in-box has probably finally recovered from the wave of GDPR opt-in requests and notices that peaked around May 25th. But, if you’ve followed the privacy press or the statements from EU regulators, you’re probably left wondering what it was all for. Many statements made in news stories (both in the U.S. and the EU) and by commentators have claimed that the GDPR means no one can send marketing emails any more without your permission. But, other stories suggest that the opt-in emails and privacy notices were unnecessary or, even, inappropriate. Who’s right? And what email marketing is allowed now?

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