It is not permissible to send marketing e-mails to either corporate or individual subscribers without their prior consent.
The e-mail contact details can be used for direct marketing purposes if obtained in the context of the sale of a similar product or a service. The rule is valid even if the recipient has not given their prior consent provided that the recipient is clearly and distinctly given the opportunity to object in an easy manner and free of charge.
E-mail marketing is prohibited if:
- The identity of the sender or the person on whose behalf the message is sent, is not mentioned in a clear and explicit manner;
- There is no valid address to which the recipient can request the termination of such communications;
- It violates article 5 of Presidential Decree 131/2003 (GGB 116A) implementing EU Directive 2000/31/EC on e-commerce;
- The recipient is encouraged to visit webpages that violate the obligations deriving from the present article.
The Hellenic Data Protection Authority issued an opinion (2/2011), according to which one can provide their consent either in writing or electronically. In the case of the latter, double opt-in procedure should be used. It is accomplished by double-checking that the consent has been actually provided. In practice, once consent to receiving e-mail is provided, the data controller should verify it by sending a request for confirmation to the subscriber. The request should include:
- The purpose for the request
- The identity of the data controller
- Information on the data processing
- Right to opt-out
The data controller should also:
- provide sufficient information to the subscriber prior to their consent;
- record the consent in a secure and accurate manner;
- make the record of consent accessible to the subscriber upon their request;
- provide the subscriber with the right to revoke their consent;
- keep the record of consent until the advertising with the subscriber ceases to be sent (if commercial communication terminates, the record of consent should only be kept for up to 6 months).
DPA Opinion 2/2011 (Δημοσιοποίηση από Δικηγορικούς Συλλόγους πειθαρχικών ποινών δικηγόρων)