PECR – Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) sit alongside the Data Protection Act. They give people specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications and there are specific rules on marketing calls, emails and text messages.

Optly was designed to assist with PECR compliance by way of our Opt In Consent Service and provision of a MyOptly account for your contacts and customers. The Opt In Consent Service can send out emails or text messages on your behalf to obtain Opt In consent from your customers and contacts. Optly stores the responses and consent permissions on your account as evidence in the system for future use should your Opt In evidence ever be requested.

Optly provides all of your contacts and customers with a MyOptly account which gives your customers an easy way to let you know of any changes to their personal contact details, or to change their Opt In preferences. The link to a MyOptly login is included in the emails and text messages that we send to your customers, and this short link can be optionally included on any future marketing you engage in with the customer so that they can update their personal details and preferences easily and quickly.

PECR restricts unsolicited marketing by phone, fax, email, text, or other electronic message. There are different rules for different types of communication. The rules are generally stricter for marketing to individuals than for marketing to companies.

You will often need specific consent to send unsolicited direct marketing – that is electronic marketing to your customers when you have not previously asked for permission from your customers to carry out. The best way to obtain valid consent is to ask customers to tick opt-in boxes, either on paper, or via an electronic mean such as a website or email, confirming they are happy to receive marketing calls, texts or emails from you.

For full details about Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations please see the ICO website at the following link:

Important: The ICO has several ways of taking action to change the behaviour of anyone who breaches PECR. They include criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The Information Commissioner can also serve a monetary penalty notice imposing a fine of up to £500,000. The powers are not mutually exclusive. They can be used in combination where justified by the circumstances.