FTC updates CAN-SPAM

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The Federal Trade Commission has approved four new rule provisions for the CAN-SPAM Act in a move to clarify the Act's requirements.

The new provisions include the following:

An e-mail recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her e-mail address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply e-mail message or visiting a single Internet Web page to opt out of receiving future e-mail from a sender.

The definition of “sender” was modified to make it easier to determine which of multiple parties advertising in a single e-mail message is responsible for complying with the Act's opt-out requirements.

A “sender” of commercial e-mail can include an accurately-registered post office box or private mailbox established under United States Postal Service regulations to satisfy the Act's requirement that a commercial e-mail display a “valid physical postal address.”

A definition of the term “person” was added to clarify that CAN-SPAM's obligations are not limited to natural persons.

In addition, the SBP accompanying the final rule also addresses CAN-SPAM's definition of “transactional or relationship message.”

It will also look at the length of time a sender of commercial e-mail has to honor an opt-out request, as well as the Commission's views on how CAN-SPAM applies to forward-to-friend e-mail marketing campaigns.

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