MagNews - April 5, 2018

MagNews launches new GDPR Consent Tracker solution

In view of GDPR, MagNews has developed her Consent Tracker: a solution inside the MagNews email marketing platform to help marketers tackle part of the regulatory obligations introduced by GDPR. In just a few weeks the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will be directly applicable in all Member States.

GDPR and proving consent

Why is tracking consent so important? The GDPR states that the processing of personal data must be based on an appropriate legal basis, specifying consent by the data subject as an explicit condition of lawfulness.

This is one of the most used legal bases for marketing. In most cases the relationship between data controller and data subject originates from explicit consent.


The GDPR requires that the consent be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous, as well as expressed through clear affirmative action.

The changes on proof of consent caused by the GDPR

Under GDPR, the data controller also must at any time be able to provide proof of compliance both to the Data Protection Authority and to the data subjects. If the basis for storing personal data is consent, then proving consent, will make personal data processing legitimate.

Therefore, preferences expressed by subjects of whom we collect data (usually our contacts) must be comprehensively recorded and preserved.

“GDPR-proof email marketing software”

Many companies would love “GDPR-proof email marketing software” to automatically (and magically) be compliant. But the Regulation doesn’t provide a pre-packaged recipe on how consent should be documented. Each company should assess what information they track and store case-by-case.

There is no such thing as GDPR-proof email marketing software, because there is no standard solution which is identical for everybody. The consent tracker is a flexible tool for managing some of the key aspects of the new Regulation.

With GDPR on its way, it is more essential than ever to have a flexible and effective tool, allowing data controllers to make decisions freely and independently.

Dealing with the GDPR, MagNews has developed her Consent Tracker: a solution to help marketers tackle regulatory obligations introduced by GDPR. Let’s have a look at its main features.

MagNews Consent Tracker

The Consent Tracker is a platform add-on designed to make it easy to keep track of consent granted by data subjects (e.g. customers and potential customers). It is a flexible and customizable solution, enabling marketers to automate tracking of any event deemed relevant for providing evidence of consent.

The goal of this solution is to allow simple management of any changes to consent by contacts within MagNews databases. It lives in a single environment, providing technological support to those who are required to comply with the obligations introduced by GDPR.

How does the Consent tracker work?

The Consent Tracker allows selective and targeted logging of events for proving consent.
To configure tracking, a marketer specifies which fields need to be written as evidence of consent. For instance event date and time, IP address, consent identifier fields, URL of the acquisition page, identifier of the “privacy policy” text viewed by the contact, etc. as well as those you decide to monitor so that the system can detect any variations.

Tracking will start when the value of at least one of those fields changes. The system generates a daily log file, which can be exported and kept either inside or outside the platform.

Archiving and exporting the consent fileTracking consent events

Information completeness
The Consent Tracker allows tracking both explicit consent acquisition, variation or revoking, as well as any changes to personal data for which consent had been previously given (e.g. email address changes).

Change history
Another essential feature concerns variations to “monitored fields”. All log information is never overwritten, allowing you to keep track of all changes over time.

Using multiple consent touchpoints
One of the most remarkable features of the Consent Tracker is its ability to track consent from multiple touchpoints. This means both inside and outside the email marketing platform.

If configured properly, it can for example track changes to consent made by contacts through MagNews forms, or by third parties upon their request through other channels (phone, certified email, etc.) or through webservice calls from apps outside MagNews (CRMs, eCommerce platforms, private areas on websites, etc.).

Archiving and exporting the consent fileArchiving and exporting the consent file

Main features of the MagNews Consent Tracker

To sum it up, the Consent Tracker allows you to:
• Automate consent tracking
• Track context information (URL, IP address, date and time, etc.)
• Store all evidence of consent in the MagNews FTP storage space
• Choose which fields to keep monitored

A practical GDPR use case

Let’s say a MagNews user wants to create a newsletter subscription form. On this form, contacts are requested to enter their first name, last name and email address, are shown the new privacy policy according to article 13 of GDPR and are asked for separate consent for both marketing activities and profiling.

The company could configure the Consent Tracker so that each time the value of a personal data or consent field changes, a “snapshot” is taken and a record is written to file, containing the tracked data. In addition to the event date and time and other context information previously collected (e.g. IP address, consent identification fields, URL of the form page, identifier of the policy text displayed to the contact, etc.).

Availability and expected encryption features

The MagNews Consent Tracker is available now for all current MagNews clients. More features are expected to be released in relation to GDPR and its regulatory framework, the team hinted one will especially be of great interest to those needing to send newsletters exclusively through encrypted channels.

About Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant and analyst. He is the founder of Email Vendor Selection and specializes in smart email marketing, online marketing strategy, software selection, campaign management, optimisation and RFP / vendor selection. He tested, reviewed, and wrote about 100+ business software including email marketing services, CRMs, ecommerce platforms, and online course creators. Published in-depth email marketing guides for financial service, ecommerce, travel, restaurant, and fashion industries.
Named one of "50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch" by Entrepreneur magazine. Companies like Scania, KLM, Unilever, AEGON, CZ, FNV, NRC Media have asked me for advice.


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