In May the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved four new rules aimed to tighten CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003). The new FTC email rules are meant to clarify and fine-tune the Act’s existing requirements, mainly affecting unsubscribe procedures.
Here’s a quick run down of the new rules:
- Email recipients must be able to unsubscribe by replying directly to the email or by clicking a link in the email that leads directly to an unsubscribe page. A website may only ask recipients for their email address to unsubscribe. It will now be illegal for companies to require a password to login and change email preferences.
- Companies may now use a P.O. Box as long as it is registered with the U.S. Postal Service as a legitimate mailing address.
- Under the law, the definition of a “person” is not limited to a natural person and may now mean a company, association, or nonprofit group.
- The definition of “sender” is the owner of the opt-out mechanism, and the sender defined in the email’s from-address. This will now make it easier to determine the main sender of an email when there are multiple advertisers.
Review your current email policies and procedures now to determine if you are correctly following the latest CAN-SPAM rules. Read the FTC press release for more information.