|Received:||3/13/2004 7:51:57 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
"transactional or relationship" : A relationship email should be limited to the purpose of the communication and not include advertisements, unless the email is to be considered an advertisement. If this is not done, then rogue spammers would simply piggy-back their marketing into legitimate relationship email. Advertisements included in a relationship email would contain differing privacy policies from the purpose of the relationship that make this separation necessary. 10-business-day time period: this should be much shorter period, 24-72 hours max. There is no reason for removal to take up to 10 days unless a marketer is illegally using open-relay servers. Marketers should be required to send emails in a 'transactional' method instead of a bulk/batch queue-up. "aggravated violations": resale/sharing of mailing lists by the same company/affiliate network for the purposes of 'appearing' to be a different marketing entity. Many of these use 10s or 100s of different domain names with different opt-out links, and yet are the same company or operate out of the same address. Private registration capabilities, such as available at Network Solutions, which were created to 'prevent' problems are being used by the spammers to mask their identities to the public that they are marketing to. Domain holder information should remain public. Defining who is the "sender": An advertising company as well as the email marketing/mailing list company should both be responsible for maintaining opt-out lists. Okay to allow individual opt-outs in an email if multiple companies, but must be a way to 'fully' opt-out of all emails. Sender 'must' include mailing list provider and compilers, as they are most at fault in the proliferation of email addresses. E.2.4 should be the initiator of the email, the company providing the product, and the mailing list provider. Additional comments: Email marketing should be made Opt-In only. In addition, Opt-In lists should have a 1 year expiration that requires an Opt-In renewal after expiration. Currently, if a person that is new to the internet unknowingly signs up for something that puts their email address on a list, they have no way of properly removing their email address because of the sale and proliferation of that list. There 'must' be a legally enforceable expiration to the list data.