I think it might be useful to briefly look at European GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) implications as we are considering viral campaigns. Whilst this is largely aimed at big businesses and organisations, it has implications for freelancers and small business too. Given this module is about creating a business, it seems timely.
GDPR is a good thing in protecting individual’s rights to having their data protected and to maintaining their privacy. It’s bad news for spammers and companies that are sloppy with data. One point that affects all users of personal data is that it should be kept secure. Another is that people have the right to opt of of having their data used.
Home users / individuals are essentially exempt from GDPR. However even small biz/freelancers do need to at least be sure personal data is properly secured. The chances of an individual or small business having GDPR issues are very slim. That said, I’d offer the view that if an organisation such as Falmouth University were seen as orchestrating something large-scale without proper safeguards, it could become an issue if receivers of emails got upset. The same is true if one of our own (student) companies somehow wrong-footed.
If you have an email list which is already in existence, as long as there is an opt-out / unsubscribe button on every email sent you don’t really need to get prior approval from anyone on the list to send them anything. Many business and organisations overreacted on GDPR day to get opt-ins re-confirmed – hence the deluge of email we all got.
Don’t get me wrong – I am absolutely not arguing against artistic expression or guerrilla activity – just politely pointing this out for consideration. I do teach this stuff, though I am not a lawyer. If in doubt get proper advice.
There are tons of good, educational links on GDPR on that thing called the Internet. Here’s a decent one which goes into quite some detail but is very easy to follow
And this, more for individuals
Finally, UK Specific advice from the Information Commissioners Office