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Motor Trade Legal News

The Information Commissioner Fines Honda For Breaching Data Protection and Electronic Marketing Regulations

On Monday 27th March, the ICO published their findings following an investigation into Honda Motor Europe Ltd. This revealed that the car company had sent 289,790 emails aiming to clarify certain customers’ choices for receiving marketing.

Honda believed the emails were customer service emails to help the company comply with data protection law. However, when required, Honda couldn’t provide evidence that the customers had ever given consent to receive this type of email; which is a breach of Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

Further details can be found at

This exercise appears to be an attempt by Honda to ensure that their database and marketing information comply with the new stricter requirements to establish permissions for data processing. It is vital that you can establish what permissions you hold over any personal data you hold before 25 May 2018.

If you have not already, all businesses should review their customer databases to establish what they want to be able to do with the information, whether they currently hold the correct permissions, and if not, how these permissions are obtained and recorded.

We would strongly advise you not email those on your database for clarification unless you can prove that you have permission to do so. You can raise these issues with your customers directly as part of routine contact over the next year including any sales contacts or servicing enquiries.

With a year to go until the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) on the 25 May 2018, this is the first of our series of articles detailing the potential impact of these regulations on the Motor Industry and the challenges each sector faces in the year ahead.

Watch this space.