It has been reported that several major retailers in the UK may be in breach of the GDPR when they sent promotional materials within their e-receipts. The GDPR is clear that data subjects must consent to direct marketing and must not receive any direct marketing if they object.
The consumer group, Which?, carried out an investigation into unsolicited marketing promotions contained on e-receipts. Which? visited 11 major retailers (including Mothercare, Halfords, Gap and Schuh) on numerous occasions, and requested e-receipts but specifically asked to be excluded from all marketing communications. The above named companies all included promotions in their e-receipts. Following the investigation, the ICO has warned retailers that they must not attempt to circumvent the GDPR by attaching marketing to communications the consumer has consented to receiving. An ICO spokesperson stated: ‘Anyone who has received an e-receipt email that includes direct marketing when they have specifically objected can complain to the organisation that sent it in the first instance, and if they remain unsatisfied they can complain to the ICO.’
In future, retailers will have to ensure that all of their communications, including order confirmations and receipts, comply with the GDPR and the wishes of their consumers. Following this investigation the ICO will be keeping a close eye on any promotions contained in e-receipts.