Blog 5 min 04/29/2021

What is Implied Consent and Soft Opt-In?

Implied Consent Soft Opt-in

Implied consent and soft opt-in are interchangeable terms when it comes to data collection and privacy best practices. But like a lot of buzzwords in marketing, they’re hard to define. Or even worse, there are multiple definitions available from different sources, adding to the confusion.  

Implied consent and soft opt-in have been standard practice among marketers for a long time. It’s essential you understand exactly what they mean so you can know if you’re following the models.  

More importantly, you need to assess implied consent and soft opt-in in light of the increasing privacy and data collection standards demanded by consumers and legislators today. If you’re not lined up with the actions outlined in these documents, it’s time to make a change so you are.  

Defining Implied Consent and Soft Opt-In 

You can think of implied consent and a soft opt-in as the gray area between third-party and first-party data collection.  

Third-party data collection is where you gather data about users through third-parties or through tracking technologies. Depending on where this processing takes place this can happen with or without the users’ knowledge or consent. You can buy data or collect it via website cookies. It’s almost always used to target customers and prospects with offers. The latter — first-party data — is when a user explicitly shares their personal information with an understanding of exactly how you will collect, store, and use it. 

Implied consent and a soft opt-in means data collection and retargeting is assumed based on a user’s previous action, or inaction. 

For example, users provide personal information in order to make online purchases. Most companies infer that a user’s positive engagement implies that they probably would like to receive marketing messages in the future. The company also provides a clear and consistent way to opt-out. 

The user didn’t explicitly consent.  

But because they took an action to purchase — and subsequently took no action to stop messaging — the company views permissions as implied. 

To learn more about how OneTrust PreferenceChoice can help you build consumer trust through consent and preference management request a demo today.  

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