Last week 23rd June JD Wetherspoon announced that it will stop sending newsletters via email and has deleted its entire email mailing list.
Chief Executive John Hutson announced it in an email to subscribers:
“Many companies use email to promote themselves, but we don’t want to take this approach – which many consider intrusive,”
He added, “Our database of customers’ email addresses, including yours, will be deleted.”
Instead of sending email addresses, the pub chain will now promote its special offers and deals on their social media and website.
The firm suffered a data breach of their customer database in 2015, where a third party stole personal data of 656,723 customers. The database contained personal data potentially compromising customer’s names, email addresses, dates of birth, and phone numbers.
This year, several companies have faced penalties for sending marketing messages to people who didn’t explicitly consent to receive emails.
Honda was fined in £13,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after sending 289,790 emails asking for clarification on whether customers wanted to receive marketing from them.
Morrisons also faced a penalty of 10,500 for sending 131,000 emails to people who had opted out of marketing for their Morrison’s Loyalty Card.
In March, airline Flybe was fined £70,000 by the ICO for sending an email titled “Are your details correct?” to more than 3.3 million customers.
The reasoning behind the deletion of their mailing list is unclear, however, with the surge in company fines, is clearly becoming a concern for many.
When the GDPR will come into force next year, the number of fines will likely increase, as well as the amount companies can be fined.
A study by NCC Group found that if the GDPR had come into force in 2016, the fines would have skyrocketed from £880,500 to £69m.
Join our free-to-attend digital event, Last Thursday in Privacy, addressing data protection, privacy and security challenges including working from home, COVID-19, global regulations and more. Visit https://digital.privsec.info/.
We have been awarded the number 1 GDPR Blog in 2019 by Feedspot.