We are at the point where we want to launch a web application. The application requires the visitor to create a free account to explore the website. So already at the beginning, they need to create the account.

Creating the account goes hand-in-hand with receiving marketing emails. The visitor can choose between:

  • once a week
  • once per 2 week

It is not possible to choose for "0" marketing mails. This is our whole business model.

Is this setup legally OK under the new GDPR? I have checked but I couldn't find anything related to the topic.


If these are your marketing emails this is fine as you have a relationship with the user. Of course, if they object to receiving these then you must stop sending them and you must enable them to object (an unsubscribe link).

If you are sending third-party marketing info then this breaches anti-spam legislation pretty much everywhere in the world.

  • Why should there be an unsubscribe link anyway (or a way to unsubscribe), even if no personal data is processed by third parties, even if the user accepted to receive the emails as a necessary part of the service? Is this always required, and by what law? – reed Oct 21 '18 at 9:57
  • Is there any documentation that states that I need to supply a "unsubscribe" link in my emails, when this is actually the necessary part of the service? What we do have, is the possibility to delete the account of course. – user10520285 Oct 22 '18 at 8:49
  • 1
    It’s in virtually every anti-SPAM law in the world, for example en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_Act_2003. If your business model relies on spam then you don’t have a “business model” you have a “criminal enterprise”. – Dale M Oct 22 '18 at 9:24

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