Tracking and the GDPR

Learn how we use a tracking pixel to bring you the reporting and segmentation features of our platform.

Overview

The pixel captures open data, including the time, date, and IP address, which we can use to locate roughly the town or city where the activity occurred. This information is used mainly for reporting purposes, but you can also use this for segmentation and follow up activity.

The tracking pixel only downloads if your contact downloads the image in the campaign. In some email clients, this is turned off by default, for example, Microsoft Outlook. Therefore, if they want, a contact can stop the tracking pixel by stopping their client from downloading images.

In reality, the tracking pixel is no different from any other image downloaded from any website on the internet. Any time you view an image on a website, the user's IP address and the date and time of the request is stored.

To learn more about email tracking pixels, check out the Data & Marketing Association’s article Understanding Email Tracking Pixels.

What the GDPR says

You can use tracking as long as you follow the law. The ICO's guidance and specific text from the law say that consent for any processing activity (such as tracking opens and clicks) should be informed. As part of this, you must clearly define the purposes of processing data to individuals when they sign up. How you do this varies considerably across businesses and industries.

How to address tracking

We cannot provide specific legal advice, but an excellent example is available on the ICO's e-newsletter signup form.

To access their signup form, users select a link specifically to sign up. Before the signup link, they clearly describe the context and purpose of collecting this data to the user.

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Once users reach the signup form, there is another message to describe the processing activities related to their e-newsletter and also a link to their privacy policy.

ico-signup.png

Whereas this example relates to an email signup form, the same principle is true regardless of your method of communication.

We recommend that your signup disclaimers and privacy policies are reviewed to ensure that you address tracking in a transparent and compliant way.

 

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