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Whether you’re contacting people by email or letter, are you on the right side of the law?

As our last guest post from Spokes Porty made clear, a key part of making any popup PoP a success is following up your action on the day by keeping up the pressure on local politicians and officials. For this, it’s helpful to sign up people in support – especially those who’ve turned up on the day.

But these days, since the advent of the General Data Protection Regulations, as GDPR stands for, you might feel a little cautious about even something as simple as passing a sheet around to gather names and contact details. 

Fortunately, as long as that is all you are doing, you don’t really need to worry too much about ending up on the wrong side of the law. The main points are pretty simple and boil down to:

  • – Only collect and use data that you actually need to accomplish your purpose
  • – Tell people what you’re using it for
  • – Delete it when you’re done with it
  • – Don’t do anything with it that people wouldn’t expect you to

So basically, if you’ve compiled a list of names and email addresses so you can follow up and email people with news of your campaign, then that’s fine as long as you’re not using those email addresses to send them unrelated emails and you stop emailing people and delete their addresses if they ask you to. It’s good practice to say in every email how people can opt out.

Thanks!Note that if you do email a long list of people, you should ensure you’re using ‘BCC’ so you’re not sharing everyone’s email address with everyone else. You could also consider using a service like MailChimp (the basic service is free; it’s what we use at PoP Central) which handles all that and also takes care of unsubscribing people who opt-out.

We’ve created a template sheet for organisers that will help you stick to these principles, which you can find on our resources page. Download it, add the necessary details, then print off as many copies as you think you’ll need and take them along with you to your event. If people indicate on the sheet that they’d like to be added to the main POP mailing list, please send a list of just those addresses to us at  hello@pedalonparliament.org

Finally, if you’re interested, here’s our own privacy policy 

Following up: A short note about GDPR