CAN-SPAM: New Rule Provisions
Although BlueHornet does not provide legal advice, we have reviewed the new CAN-SPAM rules, attended industry-specific debriefings about them, and can provide you access to the full text of the FTC changes.
The full text of the changes is available here: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/05/R411008frn.pdf
Here’s our summary of the upcoming changes, starting with the more major modifications:
Changes to opt-out requirements.
The new rule puts additional limitations on the amount of complexity which can be required during an opt-out request. Most significantly, the opt-out process can’t require that the recipient provide any information other than their email address to unsubscribe. The opt-out process must not consist of more than a single webpage.
Changes to the definition of a “sender.”
Previously, when multiple advertisers appeared in an email, the old rules appeared to require each advertiser to comply with all of the requirements of a sender - most notably, each would need to provide an opt-out mechanism and valid postal address. The new rules allow a single sender to be designated in the “From” line in these situations, and only that designated sender is responsible for providing an opt-out link and valid postal address within a message as well as satisfying the usual requirements within the Act (e.g., non-deceptive subject line, non-falsified headers, etc.).
There is still some discussion about this change to the Act. Until the FTC provides further clarification, we recommend that you continue to include opt-out links and postal addresses for each advertiser in an email.
There are also some more minor changes:
- A P.O. box or private mailbox is now acceptable for the “valid postal address” required on each mail, as long as it is a valid postal address accurately registered under USPS regulations.
- The definition of “person” has been clarified to include the legal definition of “person,” and now includes corporations, groups, partnerships, nonprofits, and associations, among others.
BlueHornet is happy to help provide general guidance on how to comply with upcoming changes to the CAN-SPAM act. But as always, seek professional legal advice for specific concerns.
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