On February 5, 2018, the Knesset passed Amendment 66 to the Communications Law. The legislative amendment, colloquially known as “the Spam Law”, prescribes that upon the termination of a transaction between a dealer and a consumer for the purchase of goods or services on an ongoing basis (such as telephone, internet, and cable transactions), the consumer will be deemed as having issued notice that he no longer wishes to receive advertisements from that dealer (opt-out). An advertisement is defined as “a commercially distributed message whose objective is to persuade consumers to purchase a product or service or to spend money in some other way, as well as an unsolicited message disseminated to the general public whose objective is to request a donation or to generate publicity.”

This means that when an ongoing transaction is terminated, a dealer will be prevented from continuing to send advertisements to the former customer, even without the consumer being required to send notice that he is opting out and no longer wishes to receive advertisements from that dealer.

Consequently, when ongoing transactions between consumers and a dealer are terminated, the dealer must concurrently take action to remove those consumers from its mailing list for advertisements, regardless of whether or not they opted in to receive them earlier or did not officially opt out of receiving them. If a dealer wants to send advertisements to consumers who have just terminated their engagements with it, then the dealer must ask for consumers’ affirmative consent (opt-in) to receive them, pursuant to the provisions of the law.

We clarify that this legislative amendment does not address “direct mail” as this term is defined in the Privacy Protection Law (a personal mailing to persons, based on their belonging to a population group, as determined by one or more characteristics of those persons, even if other than for advertising purposes). However, this amendment to the Communications Law could lead to a similar amendment to the Privacy Protection Law, which would address direct mail.