Alex van der Wolk, Marijn Storm, and Ronan Tigner authored an article for the IAPP covering the Belgian Data Protection Authority’s challenge to the “tell-a-friend” function on social media websites that enables users to share content with their personal contacts.

The DPA’s decision to fine social media platform Twoo for privacy violations of its tell-a-friend feature is important “because it makes non-users’ consent necessary for a platform to send emails or other communications to non-users, which puts the platform in a near-impossible situation,” according to the authors.

“The challenge for the outcome of the DPA’s decision is that it renders most tell-a-friend systems impracticable,” the authors wrote. “One of the main purposes of a tell-a-friend system is to alert and invite people who are not on the platform. From the platform’s perspective, it will be nearly impossible to validly obtain their consent to receive communications.”

Read the full article.