|Received:||4/17/2004 2:26:38 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Regarding Opt-Out time limits. Email is almost real time and mostly automated, these days. There is no reason why it should take 10 days for my request to be forfilled. A few days might be reasonable. From section (D1). Spammers seem to often use HTML embedded emails to track who opened an email. These individuals then use this information to validate that the email address is good. Verified email addresses are more valuable than non-verified, old or deleated email addresses. This is where the problem lies!! It is those few people with access to advanced technology and ways of harvesting, verifying and categorizing email addresses that caus eall the damage. They then sell these lists to thousands of small guys who may or may not send out spam emails. We need to make it a serious crime to specifically go about harvesting email addresses, in any form, for the prime purpose of selling these lists to the mass market. The exception would be opt-in lists. Email harvesting technology just goes around the web gathering emails and then it is 100% impossible (I've found) to remove yourself from these lists because this is seen, by the spammer, as only further evidence that I am a valid email address. If they do remove me what is to stop them from selling my email to someone else and staying in compliance with the law by removing me from thier list as requested. Aggravated Violations would include the HTML tracking tools the spammers use. Often email senders will track the number of people who open their emails. This is all part of marketing. The problem comes when this technology is missused by the email harvesters advanced technology to filter out the good from the bad emails. They will send you anything just to determine if you open any of their emails. If so then your email is now worth considerably more. Laws should be created that will help to cut the head off the source. Demand is there but it is like drugs and drug users. might we be able to cut the head off the drug lords that harvest and supply the email lists that do all the damage? From (D2) the act has not been violated if I receive email from a company which happens to contain content pertaining to another company which I had previously requested removal from their list. Every company should be free to write what they wish regarding any topic and/or company, so long as I have the opportunity to be removed from their list, if I wish to, that this does actually happen and that my email is not then passed on to another company without my permission. The market will decide which emails are worth staying with if only we were able to unsubscribe with confidence. With regards to section (E2) Tell-A-Friend - Frowarding content/news. This is between the friend and the friend. So long as it is not a bulk emailer missusing one of these tools then it is only the crediability of friend A that is only the line if he/she chooses to send/forward something or a commercial message to friend B. This should be enough to keep these people from abusing and sending spam. Email communications initiated between friends is not really an issue, even if it conserns forwarding someone elses content. Communication between business and people is what any act should focus on. It is really all about credability. (E2) Friends can only discredited themselves by what they choose to forward to others. So long as they made the decision to send it. (D2) Content in emails should be left up to the descresion of the reader. The credability of an email is on the line if they choose content that does not fit with their taget market. So long as I have a valid way to remove myself. Personally I do not believe in a "CAN-SPAM" act. If we are allowed to spam then there is always going to be a big demand for email addresses and so the drug lords of email harvesting will always find a way to supply that demand, regardless of what laws or acts we create. CAN-NOT-SPAM would encourage clean email lists.