|Received:||3/31/2004 11:14:48 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
A 1. Other: The primary purpose of an email message is commercial if the message was sent to multiple recipients who did not give prior consent. That commercial purpose is advertising. Regardless of content, the very fact that that content is being promoted to recipients who haven't requested it makes sending the message advertising and thus commercial. F. 1. The implementation of a National Do Not Email Registry. If the FTC has not already done so, the FTC should undertake a rigorous statistical study to determine (a) the number of email users who wish to receive Unsolicited Commercial Email and (b) the number of email users who don't wish to receive Unsolicited Commercial Email. It is my strong belief that (a) will be so much smaller than (b) that the sheer wastefulness of creating and maintaining a database containing all of (b) will soon become obvious. Fortunately, there are ways to create a DNE registry which can perform its function of informing email marketers which email users don't want to expend their resources dealing with random email promotions without the enormous storage, maintenance, and security costs of a database containing all of (b). By simply defining registry membership as being automatic for all email addresses whose owners haven't filed an objection before the effective date of the registry, and creating a database containing only those who object to having their email addresses in the registry (a), email marketers can know who objects to receiving their messages with far greater accuracy and much less cost. If for some reason the simple approach described above is not implemented, the FTC should examine ways to allow email addresses themselves to include enforceable indicators of their owners' objection to being sent unsolicited commercial email.