- May 2020
Make it clear that signing up is optional. Consent must be “freely given”; you may not coerce users into joining your mailing list or make it appear as if joining the list is mandatory. For this reason, you must make it clear that signing up is optional. This is especially relevant in cases where you offer free white-papers (or e-books) for download. While the user’s email address is required for the delivery of the service, signing up for your newsletter is not. In such a case, you must not make it appear as if signing-up to the newsletter list mandatory and must make it clear that it is optional.
Question (answer below)
Are they saying that it's not allowed to make signing up for a mailing list a precondition/requirement for anything? This was surprising to me.
So if you have a newsletter sign-up page that sends a digital bonus gift (like an e-book) to new subscribers, are required to completely change/repurpose your "newsletter sign-up page" into a "download e-book page" (that has an optional checkbox to also sign up for the newsletter, if you want)? That seems dumb to me, since it requires completely reversing the purpose of the page — which was, in my mind, primarily about signing up for the newsletter, with a bonus (an essentially optional one) thrown in for those who do so. Are you required to either repurpose it like that or remove the free bonus offer that would be sent to new subscribers?
The irony of this is that it requires websites that have a newsletter sign-up page like that to change it into a "newsletter sign-up page" where the newsletter sign-up part is optional. Which make you look kind of stupid, making a page that claims to be one thing but doesn't necessarily do what it says it's for.
Does this mean, in effect, that you may not lawfully provide any sort of incentive or reward for signing up for something (like a mailing list)? As long as it's very clear that some action is required before delivery of some thing, I don't see why this sort of thing should not be permitted? Would this fall under contract law? And as such, wouldn't such a contract be allowed and valid? Are mailing lists a special class of [service] that has special requirements like this? Or is it part of a broader category to which this requirement applies more generally?
Why is requiring the user to provide an email address before they can download a digital reward allowed but not requiring signing up to a mailing list? Why isn't it required that even the email address be optional to provide? (To answer my own question, probably because it's allowed to allow a user to request a specific thing to be sent via email, and an email address is required in order to fulfill that request. But...) It seems that the website could just provide a direct link to download it via HTTP/FTP/etc. as an option for users that chose not to provide an email address. (But should they be required to provide that option anytime they / just because they provide the option to have the same thing delivered via email?)
Looks like my question was answered below:
Explicit Form (where the purpose of the sign-up mechanism is unequivocal). So for example, in a scenario where your site has a pop-up window that invites users to sign up to your newsletter using a clear phrase such as: “Subscribe to our newsletter for access to discount vouchers and product updates!“, the affirmative action that the user performs by typing in their email address would be considered valid consent.
So the case I described, where it is made very clear that the incentive that is offered is conditional on subscribing, is listed as an exception to the general rule. That's good; it should be allowed.
- Apr 2020
Stadler, M., Niepel, C., Botes, E., Dörendahl, J., Krieger, F., & Greiff, S. (2020). Individual Psychological Responses to the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: Different Clusters and Their Relation to Risk-Reducing Behavior [Preprint]. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/k8unc
- health psychology
- individual variation
- risk perception
- public health
- psychological response
Sailer, M., Stadler, M., Botes, E., Fischer, F., & Greiff, S. (2020, April 9). Science knowledge and trust in medicine affect individuals’ behavior in pandemic crises. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/tmu8f
Suddenly even linking to data was an excuse to get raided by the FBI and potentially face serious charges. Even more concerning is that Brown linked to data that was already public and others had already linked to.
- Mar 2020
the publisher would be required to check, from time to time, that what is declared by the third parties corresponds to the purposes they are actually aiming at via their cookies. This is a daunting task because a publisher often has no direct contacts with all the third parties installing cookies via his website, nor does he/she know the logic underlying the respective processing.
In general, the directive does not specifically require that you list and name individual third-party cookies, however, you are required to clearly state their categories and purpose. This decision by the Authority is likely deliberate as to require such would mean that individual website/app owners would bear the burden of constantly watching over every single third-party cookie, looking for changes that are outside of their control; this would be largely unreasonable, inefficient and likely unhelpful to users.