The Email Year in Review: 2019’s Important Developments in Email

In 2019, email held on to its crown as the monarch of marketing channels. As we begin a new decade, let’s reflect on some of last year’s most talked-about and important moments in email.

Email Legislation, Security, and Privacy

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in May 2018, and the industry underwent a wave of data privacy and email security developments in 2019 as a result. In January 2019, Google was fined $57 million, and later in the year the Information Commissioner’s Office announced its intention to fine British Airways $230 million and Marriott hotels $123 million for data breaches that compromised consumer privacy.

Meanwhile, GDPR’s closest US counterpart, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), just wemt into effect (on January 1, 2020), causing a ripple effect; several other states are drafting consumer privacy bills of their own, including New York, Nevada, and Washington DC.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted to retain the current iteration of the CAN-SPAM law—which regulates commercial email in the US.

Authenticated Received Chain (ARC) is a new email protocol published by the Internet Engineering Task Force in July. It’s designed to retain the email authentication results from Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) steps, routing an email from the originating server to a recipient’s mailbox, preventing authentication from breaking. To improve anti-spoofing detection, Microsoft quickly enabled ARC for all Office 365-hosted mailboxes in October, and Google’s Gmail and G Suite, Fastmail, and Proofpoint also announced their support.

Industry Acquisitions, Consolidations, and Changes

In 2019, the market was bullish, and the rate of acquisitions in the email marketing industry was rapid.

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