How will MailChimp’s new policy to censor email content affect marketers? What criteria will the company use to determine which content is misleading? Is there new data privacy legislation coming our way?
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In this article, we’ll cover the following email industry news:
- MailChimp to fact-check all users’ email content
- California further strengthening data privacy protection
Let’s dive in.
MailChimp: A New Policy On Content Censorship
MailChimp has become judge, jury and executioner when it comes to the content users distribute using their email marketing platform.
Apparently, the sneaky change in their pricing structure, the slew of user complaints and the near-impossible cancellation were just the tip of the iceberg. Now, the company has decided to adopt a new policy that will censor content based on MailChimp’s “sole discretion” on whether or not emails are misleading and should be removed.
The policy change became effective on October 28 and its main purpose is to determine – and clarify – the types of content prohibited from being sent via the MailChimp platform. Furthermore, the company said it’ll enforce the new censorship rules by “issuing a warning or suspending or terminating an account.”
These changes bode the question: “What are the criteria MailChimp will base their decision on to determine if the content is misleading or false?” Moreover, how would the company know what’s in the email content without actually reading it? Would that be a violation?
Bottom line: at least MailChimp isn’t pretending there’s an objective, consensus-based approach to decide which content is true and which is false. The company’s pretty much saying that misleading, false and inaccurate content is what they decide it is – simply because they can. Now, MailChimp may be a popular ESP but they are not irreplaceable. Due to all their previous accidents and now this new censorship policy, a lot of users are recommending and switching to better professional email marketing software.
The CCPA 2.0: The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) of 2020
On November 3, Californians have voted on and passed Proposition 24: The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) of 2020 which is pushing California further ahead in terms of data privacy legislation compared to the rest of the U.S.
This new legislation adds to Cali’s already effective data privacy law – the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and aims to close some of the loopholes.
The CPRA 2020 will –
- prevent organisations from sharing personal information
- limit the use of “sensitive personal information” incl. precise location, race, religion, social security information and any other info categorised as personal
- prohibit personal data retention for longer than required (or necessary)
- triple penalties for violations involving minors (under 16)
- create a new California Privacy Protection Agency which will replace the attorney general’s office as the enforcer
- expand the private right of action for consumers
- create new commitments for opt-out links
The new data privacy legislation will also slightly change who is considered a “covered business” and, consequently, who must comply. Under the CPRA 2020, to be a covered business, one of three requirements must be met –
1) the business acquires at least 50% of its annual revenue by sharing or selling the personal data of California-based consumers
2) the business’s gross revenue is over $25 million
3) buy, sell or share the personal data of more than 100,000 Californians (changed from 50,000 under the CCPA)
The CPRA 2020 will not come into effect until January 1, 2023. Until that time, the CCPA would remain in force.
Why should you care? Assuming this data privacy legislation comes into effect, businesses subject to CCPA – and all other email marketing laws – must ensure they have studied and understood all the new requirements. Regardless of where your business operates, if you are sending marketing emails to users around the globe, compliance with email marketing laws where the recipient resides is crucial.
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