What marketers need to know about Europe's new privacy directive

BtoB, 4/14/11

A new European Union privacy directive is set to take effect on May 25—less than six weeks away—and companies that have databases that include overseas customers and prospects need to take note if they haven’t already, said Dennis Dayman, chief privacy and deliverability officer at Eloqua, a provider of marketing automation.

The e-Privacy Directive will require marketers to gain “explicit consent” from website visitors before tracking and storing their information. This will move most marketing programs from an opt-out to an opt-in paradigm and will affect any email marketer that passes subscribers through to a landing page or website in order to read marketing messages or e-newsletters, Dayman said. Penalties and enforcement under the new provisions have not been hammered out yet, but Dayman said companies should prepare now.

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