Answer:The CAN-SPAM Act, introduced in 2003, is due for its first makeover by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The commission has proposed rule revisions on five topics:
- Define the term "person," which is a term used repeatedly throughout the act but is never defined.
- Modify the definition of "sender" to make it easier to determine which party advertising in a single e-mail message will be responsible for complying with the act’s opt-out requirements.
- Clarify that post office boxes and private mailboxes constitute valid physical postal addresses.
- Reduce from 10 to three the number of days a sender may take before honoring a recipient’s opt-out request.
- Simplify the process for submitting a valid opt-out request. Under the proposed rules, a recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her e-mail address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply e-mail message or visiting a single Internet Web page to opt-out.
Comments on the proposed CAN-SPAM changes will be accepted by the Commission until June 27.
Chip House is VP-privacy and deliverability at ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based provider of permission-based e-mail marketing solutions. He can be reached at [email protected].