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New FTC Rules Under the CAN-SPAM Act In Layman's Terms.

Recently the FTC has approved four new rules under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. You can find the press release here.

In this article, Mark Merckler, General Counsel for UniqueLeads explains what it all means in layman's terms:

  1. Contrary to what many believed they would do, the FTC did not shorten the time frame for honoring opt-outs. For the foreseeable future it will remain at ten (10) days.

  2. The FTC limited acceptable opt-out procedures to simple, one step operations, requiring no more than the user supply his or her email address and preference.

  3. The FTC modified the definition of “sender” to make it easier to determine which party is responsible for complying with the Act’s opt-out provisions.

  4. The FTC specifically allowed the use of a USPS PO Box, or private mailbox service as meeting the “valid physical address” requirement. (Thank goodness the legal folks won’t have to negotiate this point anymore.)

  5. The definition of “person” was expanded to clarify that the Act’s provisions apply to companies as well as individuals.

These are the most important points affecting our industry. However, the Commission’s Statement of Basis and Purpose will be published in the Federal Register in the next several weeks. It will provide a lot more guidance on what the FTC was thinking when it promulgated these new rules.


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