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Double opt-in

If website operators send emails without the recipient’s consent, they are committing a violation of the Unfair Competition Act. By using the double opt-in procedure, they are on the safe side.

What does double opt-in mean?

Double opt-in is the term for a two-step registration and confirmation procedure that is required, for example, when a user registers for a newsletter. In Germany, before a newsletter or advertisement can be sent to a person who has entered his or her e-mail address in an e-mail distribution list, the person must give his or her consent to receive these e-mails as part of the double opt-in procedure. In German, opt-in means “to decide in favour of something”. This means that in this process, the email owner explicitly decides twice to receive emails.

How does double opt-in work?

When a person enters their e-mail address in the distribution list for a newsletter, they immediately receive an automatic e-mail message in which they are asked to confirm the entry. The email usually contains a link for confirmation, which the email owner must click on. This is to confirm the identity of the e-mail owner and to prevent anyone from entering an arbitrary e-mail address. Only after this confirmation by the e-mail owner, e-mails may be sent to him.

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