to reconfirm or not to reconfirm

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Act now! You’re important to me. You do still want to hear from me, don’t you? I’ve updated my communication policy and will not let anyone else use your data. Probably. Yeah, right, like I’d give you the chance of bowing out and not receive my raucous rants.

My conspiracy-theorist Saturday swimming pal had his head in his hands for most of the journey to & from the pool this weekend bemoaning the obvious end of his successful career. He, like I, has been a recruiter for twenty-five years (I know, I know, what do you call two dead recruiters at the bottom of the sea…) and he’s spent the last couple of weeks mailing those candidates & clients that he’s cultivated for a lifetime, pleading with them to allow him to stay in touch. Apparently, not many appear to be agreeing with him.

All of us will have recently received a torrent of such emails, not all from him I hope, triggered by something called GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) controls the manner in which organisations collect, store and use an individual’s personal data and this can include such widespread information as your name, address, photo, email address, IP address, bank details, social media posts, medical records, biometric data and sexual orientation. In essence, GDPR allows people the right to be forgotten and any contravention to these tighter controls could elicit a fine of almost £20,000, or 4% of global turnover! Coming just weeks after yet another breach of trust from Facebook/Cambridge Analytica, the overhaul is clearly the most wide-reaching since the dawn of t’internet, even placing the onus upon the businesses to report any contravention to the regulator within 72 hours.

So, should I stay or should I go? GDPR obviously presents an opportunity to spring-clean our overheated inboxes but, with the term ‘GDPR-fatigue’ already coined and reported rates of reconfirmation well below 10%, spare a thought for the organisations & charities that are set to lose over 90% of their potential business life-blood. Ouch. My only advice to my pal, apart from control your kick and think of your body-position in the water, is to make it as easy as possible to consent to future communication by hitting the attractive and obvious big green-button on all your communications. Any palaver involving logging into your account, updating your data and changing your password will be greeted by the deafening silence of your future prospects running for the hills.