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Electronic marketing and internet use

Electronic marketing

Are there rules specifically governing unsolicited electronic marketing (spam)?

The Trust in Digital Economy Act 2004 provides that any commercial prospecting by means of telephone, fax or electronic communications is prohibited without the prior agreement of the data subject. Such prospecting must always indicate the address of the prospector and provide the possibility to unsubscribe from these communications. The CNIL controls the application of these rules and can issue fines for unsolicited electronic marketing of up to €3,000 for a natural person and €15,000 for a legal entity.


Are there rules governing the use of cookies?

Ordinance 2011-1012 regarding Electronic Communications (August 24 2011) provides that the use of cookies is allowed if the user’s consent is obtained before any data is taken from or stored on the user’s terminal, or if these actions are strictly necessary to fulfil a service that has been specifically demanded by the user.

In practice, this means that websites that use cookies must inform users of:

  • the storage of cookies on their computers;
  • the possibility of managing cookie settings or refusing their use; and
  • the fact that navigating the website implies acceptance of the cookie policy (and details regarding the impact of non-acceptance of cookies on the services provided).

According to the CNIL, cookies can remain active for a maximum period of 13 months.

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