E-receipts from leading retailers 'may break data protection rules'

Image gallery

There are no items

Click to upload

Video gallery

There are no items

Click to upload

Several large retailers may be breaking data protection rules with their e-receipts, according to an investigation by the consumer body Which?.


Many retailers offer to email receipts to shoppers but the rules in this area were tightened in May when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force.


Which? said some of the biggest names on the high street were including unwanted marketing information in their e-receipts, contrary to the rules. It sent mystery shoppers to 11 retailers: Topshop, Clarks, Gap, New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Arcadia Group (Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Burton), Schuh, Mothercare, Halfords, Currys PC World and Nike.


Each company was visited at least three times and the mystery shoppers requested an e-receipt but told the retailer they did not want to receive any additional marketing.


E-receipts issued by Mothercare, Schuh, Halfords and Gap contained promotional marketing, “indicating that the retailers may be breaking data protection rules”, Which? said.


Retailers must not send direct marketing to new customers by email unless the recipient has consented to receive it. If a retailer asks for an email address at the point of sale and plans to send marketing information, it must give shoppers the option to opt out.


One shop sent a marketing email with the e-receipt attached, while others included prompts to sign up for a newsletter or invitations to complete a survey in return for money off a future purchase.


Which? said it was concerned about the possibility of consumers being “bombarded” with unwanted marketing messages.


Halfords said its e-receipts were compliant with the UK’s data protection law and conformed to GDPR regulations. “Our e-receipts do not contain any active promotion of products or services,” it added.


Gap told Which? that it took the privacy rights of its customers seriously and was investigating. Schuh told Which?: “Following your feedback, we have now updated the communications you highlighted.”


Mothercare said: “We take the privacy rights of our customers very seriously and we are confident our e-receipts comply with data protection laws. We look forward to receiving Which’s findings so we can investigate fully.”


We made a choice…

… and we want to tell you about it. Our journalism now reaches record numbers around the world and more than a million people have supported our reporting. We continue to face financial challenges but, unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall. We want our journalism to remain accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford.


This is The Guardian’s model for open, independent journalism: available for everyone, funded by our readers. Readers’ support powers our work, safeguarding our essential editorial independence. This means the responsibility of protecting independent journalism is shared, enabling us all to feel empowered to bring about real change in the world. Your support gives Guardian journalists the time, space and freedom to report with tenacity and rigour, to shed light where others won’t. It emboldens us to challenge authority and question the status quo. And by keeping all of our journalism free and open to all, we can foster inclusivity, diversity, make space for debate, inspire conversation – so more people have access to accurate information with integrity at its heart.


Guardian journalism is rooted in facts with a progressive perspective on the world. We are editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one steers our opinion. At a time when there are so few sources of information you can really trust, this is vital as it enables us to give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. Your support means we can keep investigating and exploring the critical issues of our time.


Our model allows people to support us in a way that works for them. Every time a reader like you makes a contribution to The Guardian, no matter how big or small, it goes directly into funding our journalism. But we need to build on this support for the years ahead. Support The Guardian from as little as £1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

Downloads

No results found
No results found
Try adjusting your search or filter to find what you're looking for.
There are no items