FTC polls public on CAN-SPAM changes

The Federal Trade Commission is asking for public comment on proposed new definitions and provisions to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

The FTC is proposing rule provisions on five topics: Defining the term "person;" modifying the definition of "sender" to make it easier to determine which party is responsible for complying with CAN-SPAM's opt-out provision when multiple parties advertise in a single email; clarifying that Post Office boxes and private mailboxes constitute valid physical postal addresses under the act; reducing the time that a sender may take before honoring a recipient's opt-out request from 10 days to three; and clarifying that a recipient cannot be required to pay a fee or provide additional information other than an email address in order to opt-out.

Comments are due by June 27. The proposed changes to CAN-SPAM are based on public input the FTC received earlier this year.

The FTC also is seeking comment on other issues related to the anti-spam law, including how it applies to email marketing practices such as "forward-to-a-friend." However those other issues are not the subject of any proposed rule provisions.

As reported in SC Magazine last week, the FTC won a court order shutting down a spam operation that allegedly emailed millions of internet users with sexually explicit messages in order to drive traffic to its website.

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