How to bring your communication into compliance with the GDPR?

The We Are COM team is constantly questioning the GDPR, the new European legislation relating to data processing and its impact on the daily life of communicators. After the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal (a formidable campaign to raise awareness of the proper handling of personal data), we have decided to fully engage in it… but with the support of an expert. We therefore met Frédéric Raynaut, e-mailing specialist and associate director ofActiveCom. And we got it all!


Frédéric, what is behind the horrible acronym “RGPD”?

This is the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD or GDPR in English), which entered into force on May 25, 2018. It applies to all brands having an activity within the European Union. In France, this is the replacement of the Data Protection Act of 1978, which gave birth to the CNIL. The objective is to strengthen the control of their data by citizens. The risk for brands is sanctions of up to 20 million euros or 4% of their worldwide turnover, to which will be added negative impacts on their image.

In this context, is there a difference between BtoC communication and BtoB communication? We are lost…

The Rules apply to any processing of personal data and does not distinguish between BtoB and BtoC data. Are considered in particular as personal data in BtoB the e-mail address ( and the professional (direct) telephone number, the job title and the physical address of the workplace, insofar as they identify a Physical person. Conversely, data relating to legal persons such as company contact details (postal address of the head office and switchboard number) as well as generic e-mail addresses ( are excluded from this scope.

So is B2B prospecting over? 🙁 or 🙂?

Regarding e-mailing campaigns or sending professional newsletters, the derogatory regime is not modified. Indeed, consent is not required for commercial prospecting or Business to Business loyalty. Under the GDPR, the CNIL officially reaffirmed this exemption for communication between professionals on March 30, 2018 and National Union of Direct Communication (Sncd) took over. Note that certain conditions must always be respected: informing about the conditions for processing personal data, respecting the right to object by compulsorily including an unsubscribe link in your messages and ensure that the request is related to the profession of person contacted. Common sense !

Let's move from Big Data to Yes Data with affinity profiling voluntarily chosen by the user.

And what should we do to bring our communications into compliance?

To receive your messages by email, your users must give their explicit consent through an enlightened, specific and unambiguous act. You must adapt your registration forms. Your new registration form must explain the use that will be made of the data collected (distribution of a newsletter, promotional offers, etc.) and propose a checkbox to be "opt-in" (box unchecked by default), ditto for profiling. This is the only valid practice for the collection of a user's consent. Registration without agreement is strictly prohibited in B to C, just as it is now forbidden to compel consent against a service. The practice of using the white paper to collect emails from prospects is over. In addition, you must ensure that the clauses of your confidentiality policy are updated, which must be accessible from your website and proactively shared in your future communications.

What should I do with my current databases?

You should contact the Data Protection Officer (or Data Protection Officer) of your company. He is in charge of the personal data governance policy and coordinates the processing actions between the sales, marketing, communication, IT and legal teams. He will be able to guide you.

To sum up, is this new regulation a brake on COM?

Absolutely not ! On the contrary, it is an accelerator for personalized or segmented communication. We will encourage our clients to switch from Big Data to Yes Data, i.e. affinity profiling voluntarily chosen by the user. Our solution ActiveProfile allows the recipient to manage all or part of the content offered to him. This online profile management gives him the possibility of selecting themes according to his areas of interest and to define the frequency of sending. By using a content base and the user's wishes, our technology automatically recomposes a personalized newsletter when it is sent. It is a productivity gain on the advertiser side and the assurance of personalized communication for the recipient!


What is personal data?

Personal data (excluding sensitive data) are:

- Last name First Name
- E-mail
- ID number, username
- IP adress
- Social security number
- Registration number
- Phone Number
- Photography
- Digital print
- Geolocation

Get to know ACTIVECOM

ACTIVECOM is the smart mailing of advertisers which also propels the newsletter of the We Are COM team. Accessible in SaaS mode or installed within your IS, this solution - easy to learn - brings together several different and complementary tools in add-on. Each solution can be activated independently or coordinated according to your needs. Enough to transform your editors into web editors and your assistants in campaign managers to increase the performance of your mailings! Many advertisers have already adopted ACTIVECOM: La Poste, Banque Palatine, LCL, Crédit Agricole SA, Wolkswagen France, Securitas, etc.


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