As part of its initiative to ensure consumer protection rules are up-to-date with economic and technological advances, the Federal Trade Commission recently completed its first review of the CAN-SPAM Rule, and ultimately voted to keep the Rule in place without making any changes. The Rule regulates commercial e-mail messages or “spam.”
Specifically, it requires an accurate header and subject line, a statement that the e-mail is an advertisement, a valid physical address, and a method for recipients to opt-out of receiving future e-mails.
The FTC collected comments from the public on a number of issues including, whether the Rule was still necessary, the costs of compliance and the benefits to consumers, and what changes, if any, needed to be made to account for economic and technological advances. The FTC was particularly interested in receiving comments on whether it should shorten the time frame in which senders must process opt-out requests, change what qualifies as a “transaction or relationship message,” and specify what might qualify as an aggravated violation. 92 comments were submitted, the majority of which favored the Rule as is.
After its review, the FTC concluded that the Rule provides significant benefits to consumers and promotes competition without overly burdening senders. Consequently, the FTC voted 5-0 to approve the rule for publication.