Verified Consent

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Coming in 2016

One of the biggest challenges in marketing communications today is not just obtaining the contact information of prospects and customers, but getting and managing permission to use that information. With increasing amounts of spam across all channels, consumer trust is at an all-time low. In the UK the Information Commissioners Office has been focussing heavily on enforcement in this area, with record levels of fines in 2015 early 2016.

This not only damages the industry, but means the bar for demonstrating that you are behaving both legally and ethically is also getting higher.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation contains specific requirements for accountability, including the ability to demonstrate that you have consent for processing customer data.  This in turn means organisations doing the right thing need new ways to record consent. This is not only essential to defend against compliance challenges, and the fines for non-compliance, but also to ensure you can verify internally that your controls and processes are being followed.

One of the most important elements of valid consent, is that the customer or data subject has a clear understanding of what they are consenting to.  This is normally done by linking a consent action like a tick box to a privacy notice or policy.  The problem is that policies can be changed and even if you record the consent in your CRM, if you don’t have an audit trail there is often no way to show what was agreed to some time in the past if you are challenged, or defend against a claim that an in-house record has not been tampered with to avoid a significant fine.

Optanon Verified Consent is a next generation Consent Management solution that solves this problem of accountability, reduces risk of non-compliance and complaints, as well as helps to build trust amongst your customers – vital for maintaining permission to keep communicating.

Optanon Verified Consent is a lightweight software-as-a-service solution that maintains auditable records of when consent was obtained, how it was obtained, and what was consented to by directly linking to the privacy policy that was in place at the time, long after changes may have been published.

You can start using Optanon Verified Consent without changing how you store customer records internally, which means it is quick and simple to roll out. However, by making a small change to store a copy of the consent token, you can also use this to query the system as well as open up a new communication channel to re-affirm, upgrade or change the consent you have been given to reflect changes in your business, products, and to provide further value to your customers.

With Optanon Verified Consent you can:

  • Defend against complaints in a robust, verifiable way.
  • Query records to ensure consent is valid prior to marketing activity
  • Attach the consent to the data in a way that supports secure and compliant exchange of customer data
  • Provide the customer with their own copy of the proof via verified email address – not only incentivising accurate data provision, but creating a potential route for re-confirming and updating consents as may be needed periodically.

How it Works:

  • Add Optanon Verified Consent to your web forms and any digital interfaces involving obtaining consent.
  • Link each of your forms to the relevant policy that your customer is agreeing to. You don’t need to notify us when the content of your policy changes – we will monitor that for you.
  • Every time a visitor submits data through your form, we capture a verifiable record of the transaction linked to the terms agreed to and held in our secure servers using strong encryption.
  • An email is sent to the customer – providing them with a unique key as both reference and their own access to query the data.
  • Login to your account, or query the service using your secure API key to check the consent record of a customer based on their key identifier.
  • The customer can use their key to request a copy of the consent record – which is then sent to their verified email address.
  • Optionally, when you communicate with each customer, you can use the transaction record as a reminder/proof that they have given consent.

Optanon Verified Consent gives both you and your customer a verifiable record of the permissions you are using to communicate with them, building trust back into your marketing as well as generating an audit trail should the need arise.  The platform is built upon emerging standards for consent management, which means consent records can be transferred or shared with other standard supporting systems.

Optanon Verified Consent will be released in 2016, but if you would like to find out more about how it can benefit you, and get involved in our pilot programme, get in touch today.