The EU legislation, introduced on December 11, makes sending emails or SMS messages to consumers without their prior consent illegal.
However, there are no such measures to protect business email addresses. Senders to business addresses only have to clearly show the email address the message was sent from and provide an opportunity for the recipient to opt out of further emails.
According to Stewart Webb, managing director of anti-spam technology firm Impedia, this could encourage firms not concerned about privacy laws to target people via their work addresses.
"Very few people will see any drop in the level of unsolicited email they receive by the introduction of this piece of legislation. The vast majority of junk email is sent from outside the EU or relayed via unsuspecting PCs through remote access scripts by people who have little concern for the legality of their actions," he said.
The new laws also means that websites using cookies and other internet tracking devices must tell visitors of the details and give them the right to refuse them.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com