FTC Seeks Comment on CAN-SPAM Changes

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The Federal Trade Commission began seeking comment yesterday on proposed changes to the rules enacted under the CAN-SPAM anti-spam legislation, including one that would require e-mailers to comply more quickly with opt-out requests.

Rule changes proposed by the FTC could affect how the CAN-SPAM Act is enforced. The proposals include:

· Shortening the time an e-mail sender has to comply with an opt-out request from 10 to three days.

· Clarifying that it is illegal to require e-mail recipients wishing to opt out from marketing e-mails to pay a fee, provide information other than e-mail address and opt-out preferences or take any action besides replying to an e-mail or visiting a Web site.

· Clarifying that P.O. boxes and private mailboxes meet the requirement for a "valid physical address" under the CAN-SPAM Act.

· Defining the term "sender" as used in CAN-SPAM to clarify which party associated with a marketing e-mail is responsible for compliance.

· Defining the term "person," which is used repeatedly in the language of the CAN-SPAM Act but not clearly defined.

The FTC will accept comments until June 27. Comments may be filed online at https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-canspam/.

The full text of the proposed changes can be found in PDF format at ftc.gov/os/2005/05/05canspamregformfrn.pdf.


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