There are laws in place that sets out what can and cannot be done about spam. Spam law attempts to inhibit and prosecute spammers while protecting the rights of legal email senders. You should know what your rights are according to these laws.
The primary spam law in place is the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. It sets forth basic requirements for senders of commercial email, which can be adhered to. Penalties for junk mail and spammers are also stipulated. Consumers are given the right to request email senders to stop sending them junk mail.
The law came into effect on the 1st of January 2004. It regulates the law concerning the sending of emails of a marketing or advertising nature. It states that emails may not have misleading titles. The titles should be in agreement with the content of the email.
The Federal Trade Commission has been given the power to enforce the CAN-SPAM Act. The Department of Justice as well as other relevant authorities may also enforce this spam law where applicable. Companies that provide access to the internet can also pursue legal action against individuals that violate these laws.
What does this act say about email and junk mail? It has a few basic anti-spam requirements and provisions. The rest of this article may explain what you should know about spam law.
1. You must provide your email recipients with a way to opt-out of subscription to your messages. The opt-out address must be included with every commercial email you send. This may be a return address or an automated response mechanism.
2. Your commercial email must be identified as such and must include you physical postal address at the end of every message you send. This is so that angry recipients may put a brick through your window if you should keep on spamming them.
3. Your commercial email must not contain misleading subject lines. Do not try to trick your mail recipients into opening your emails. If it says ‘apples pie recipes’ in the subject line, the email better contain your grandmother’s secret apple pie recipe that is delicious yet easy to make.
4. As a commercial emailer, you may not use email addresses you stole off web pages, forums or blogs. Use only addresses of people who opted to receive communications from you.
5. As a commercial emailer, you may not use automated scripts to register numerous email addresses from which to send bulk electronic mail.
6. You may not use a computer ‘botnet’ or other multiple computers to send bulk mail.
7. Consumers are able to lay a complaint if spam law is violated by going to the
Federal Trade Commission website or by forwarding unwanted junk mail to the Federal Trade Commission’s spam submission address.
Spam law only works if the authorities enforce it correctly and if spammers are reported. Even then, it is a small consolation in relation to the problems that email spam causes all over the world. The best place for spam is in a can.