Germany: New case law on unsolicited emails to customers
Published 8 April 2015
In Germany, generally a recipient's consent is required before an email is sent to a private email address for marketing purposes.
Recently a local Düsseldorf court has gone further by ruling that an unsolicited feedback request was not only a breach of privacy law, but was a more serious breach than the sending of a straightforward marketing email.
However, a ruling by a district court in Stuttgart ruled that breach of the sending of an automatic confirmation of receipt was not a breach of privacy law as although it did contain advertisements as well as the receipt confirmation, it was initiated by the inquiry of the customer and so was permitted.
What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?
Companies should ensure that even feedback requests sent to German data subjects are only sent if the recipient has provided clear consent to their receipt.