More NewsConsumers Union Says Anti-Spam Bills Weak

Consumers Union Says Anti-Spam Bills Weak

Group urges lawmakers to consider opt-in provisions and to give consumers the right for private action against spammers.

The Consumers Union told a House panel reviewing an anti-spam bill Tuesday that none of the current proposals before Congress go far enough since none contain “opt-in” provisions.

All of the introduced anti-spam proposals in the House and the Senate call for “opt-out” procedures that require senders of unsolicited commercial email to provide recipients of the mail with an option to halt future offerings.

“In other words, an ISP (Internet service provider) must first pass on the spam to consumers, consumers must then read the spam, and then they can exercise their right to stop receiving messages from that particular sender,” Chris Murray, the legislative counsel for the consumer group, told the Judiciary Subcommmittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Murray also urged the lawmakers to give consumers the right to file class action suits against spammers.

The subcommittee was meeting to review the Rid Spam Act (H.R. 2214). The legislation is sponsored by a powerful coalition of committee chairmen and calls for commercial emailers to use header identification stating the message is an advertisement or solicitation and provide consumers with opt-out provisions.

It also mandates that commercial bulk emailers must use an accurate return address and include the physical location of the sender.

Similar legislation has already passed a Senate committee.

“We believe H.R. 2214 needs to be improved because it lacks an opt-in provision and private right of action for consumers while at the same time it excludes class action suits,” Murray said. “This puts too much burden on consumers to block spam and makes it too difficult to hold spammers legally accountable.”

Lawmakers, especially Bob Goodlatte (R.-Va.), disagreed.

“Class action is the wrong approach,” Goodlatte said. “It is an abomination that will result in a nominal benefit because of the nominal loss.”

Related Articles

GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

Data & Analytics GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

3w Clark Boyd
What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

Legal & Regulatory What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

8m Al Roberts
Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

Media Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

8m Al Roberts
Is Twitter slowly dying?

More News Is Twitter slowly dying?

9m Al Roberts
FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

Ecommerce FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

9m Al Roberts
Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

Ecommerce Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

8m Al Roberts
YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

More News YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

9m Al Roberts
YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

Ad Industry Metrics YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

9m Al Roberts