The CAN-SPAM Act, passed in 2003, addressed the sending of commercial email, imposed penalties for spammers and detailed opt-out provisions for consumers. This law applies to anyone using email for advertising and promoting a commercial product or service.
- Recently, the Federal Trade Commission finalized rules to clarify the Act’s requirements in the following areas:
- Addressing what can be required of someone choosing to opt out of a company’s future emails. The rules prohibit a company from charging a fee to opt out or requiring a person to provide anything other than an email address to do so. A
- Making it easier to determine who is responsible for compliance with the law when there are multiple companies in one email. When more than one company advertises in a single email, the company sending the email is responsible for complying with the provisions of the Act.
- Changing what is allowed as a valid physical postal address. The Act requires a physical postal address to appear in each email solicitation. This change allows any accurately registered post office box or private mailbox under postal service regulations to be used to meet this requirement.
- Clarifying the law is not limited to natural persons. The definition of a person was changed to clarify the obligations of the act do not strictly apply to a natural person.
One change that was discussed but not ultimately adopted would have decreased from 10 days to 3 days the amount of time a company has to remove someone from its email list who has chose to opt out.
These rules become effective sometime this summer. The Chamber will post additional information here when it becomes available.
For more information, visit the FTC website: