Are corporate emaill addresses exempt from GDPR?

No, with exceptions.  A corporate email address may regarded as PII (Personal Identifiable Information) if it can be used to identify a living person.

For instance an email address such as fred.bloggs@acompany.co.uk identifies a Fred Bloggs who works at A Company.  This is PII.
But what about fred@acompany.co.uk?  There may be any number of Freds, (or any number of Fred Bloggs for that matter), but only one has an email address and conceivably could be used to identify a living individual.  This is also PII.
However, info@acompnay.co.uk doesn’t identify a living individual and is therefore not PII.

This last one raises some questions.  For instance the address info@acompany.co.uk may be an alias for a living person’s email address or it may be redirected to a living person, in which case the alias and redirected email addresses would be identifiable at least to the recipient and whoever set them up, e.g. a living person can be identified from the info@acompany.co.uk email address.  This article discusses these issues in more depth.

Oddly it is not thought that just a persons name is sufficient to be PII since, as in the previous example, there may be many Fred Bloggs, even knowing where Fred Bloggs works may not be enough if there are more than one.  But a Fred Bloggs working at a company with a corporate email address would be sufficient if Fred or Bloggs or both form part of that email address.  (Let’s make it simple and assume fred.bloggs@acompany.co.uk isn’t a group of email addresses).

The next consideration is opt-in/opt-out and relates to the reasons you have email addresses stored on your computers.

For instance, they may be required in general day-today communications between two companies and therefore, by inference, all have opted-in.  But if the email addresses are used for marketing then permission to use them for this purpose is required.  This falls under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) regulation.

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