Blog

23 May 2018

Lotteries, competitions and loyalty programs versus RODO regulations

The Regulation on the Protection of Personal Data (RODO in Polish) was adopted in 2016. However, it has become a hot subject only from the beginning of the current calendar year as it comes into force on May 25th. Feverish analyzes, verifications of regulations and databases dominated companies’ activities. No wonder - penalties can reach up to 20 million euros.

What does RODO introduce?

The regulation changes the rules of personal data protection and the users’ consent. The extant binding regulations so far unfortunately have not been enforced in many cases. The RODO will change that - the new Office for the protection of personal data (UODO in Polish) will be given the right to impose financial penalties on companies. Consumers themselves will also be able to enforce civil rights or revoke their consent with immediate effect.

The regulation changes the rules of personal data protection and the users’ consent. The extant binding regulations so far unfortunately have not been enforced in many cases. The RODO will change that - the new Office for the protection of personal data (UODO in Polish) will be given the right to impose financial penalties on companies. Consumers themselves will also be able to enforce civil rights or revoke their consent with immediate effect.

RODO will not leave out loyalty programs

Discussions are being held mainly in the context of websites, e-commerce or newsletters. However, loyalty programs, lotteries and contests involve processing of personal data as well. Let usalso remember that the e-mail address itself is a piece of personal data! Only the simplest programs - ie collecting stamps or a gift with a purchase of over a certain amount - are not subject to new regulations.

Many companies are wondering if they can still process their archived data. The problem is significant - developing an effective loyalty program required not only financial expenditure but also time investment to acquire users. Paradoxically, small and medium companies have it easier (smaller bases and less complex procedures). On the other hand, large corporations have adequate budgets.

Checking readiness for RODO?

RODO entails one more problem. The regulation, although it sorts out the laws, it does not provide clear answers, leaving room for various interpretations. It is essential to seek assistance, such as for instance the guidelines of the Article 29 -Working Team.

Nevertheless, it is possible to carry out an initial check of obtained consents against the RODO general conditions. If the user's acceptance was given voluntarily and consciously, he/she received information about the scope of data collection, their administrator and the purpose of their processing, everything should be in order.

Taking into consideration technological aspects, it is worth first mapping data processing processes, technologies, protections as well as procedures and then follow it up by consulting external auditors who will help verify their correctness.

It is difficult to clearly predict what impact RODO will have on the market of loyalty programs, contests and lotteries. In general, it may bring about positive changes. The number of entities who treat personal data as a means of trade will be reduced, and on the other hand thegroup of reliable and proven business partners will be extended.