Yesterday, May 12th, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a new rule under the CAN-SPAM Act. The new rule seeks to clarify some of the requirements CAN-SPAM imposes on senders of bulk email.
- First, an E-mail recipient cannot be required by the sender to pay a fee, supply any information other E-mail address and opt-out preference, or take any steps other than sending a reply E-mail or visiting a single Web page to opt out. From personal experience, many commercial websites add you automatically to their mailing list if you purchase something from them. This is fine; however, if you want to unsubscribe, often you have to click on a link in the email, go to a web page, enter your account information, or if you do not have an account - your order number, then find out where the email preferences menu is hidden, and finally fill out a couple of forms to submit an opt-out request. All of this is gone - there must be a single web page.
- The definition of “sender” has been changed to make it easier to determine which of multiple entities advertising in a single E-mail message is responsible for complying with the Act’s opt-out requirements;
- A “sender” of commercial e-mail can include an accurately-registered post office box or private mailbox established under United States Postal Service regulations to satisfy the Act’s requirement that a commercial e-mail display a “valid physical postal address.”
The new changes provide small, but helpful to the Internet users, tweaks. Kudos to the FTC for staying on top of the CAN-SPAM to make it more effective and user-friendly regulation. It is unfortunately, however, that it takes so long to implement some of the more obvious changes.
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