Q: This is a query about the legality of forwarding or otherwise sending emails that I have received – but in this case from the managing agent to myself as a lessee and shareholder of the company that owns the block of flats – to members of our shareholder interest group if I have not obtained the managing agent’s permission. There is no disclaimer or any kind of caveat on the agent’s emails about this.
If it’s not permissible, then presumably I must write to our members about the gist of what the agent said (if that itself is permissible)? If it is so, then is it also permissible to include a quote directly from the agent’s email, say a few words or a sentence?
FPRA Chairman Bob Smytherman replies:
I am not a lawyer and further legal advice from our lawyers may be required. The issue of data is regulated by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which places a requirement on organisations to manage data responsibly which includes emails.
The key issue for your association is consent. Providing you have consent from your members to share relevant information to them, then my view is forwarding relevant information to them is ok, although it’s important to not share information not relating to the consent you have -i.e. only relating to your group.
It’s also important to share via bcc to avoid sharing private addresses with people who are not authorised to manage their data.
[Submitted September 2019]