How much do you know about the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003? If your law firm sends marketing emails, you probably have a good knowledge of the law as well as some strongly held opinions about it. With the Federal Trade Commission undertaking another periodic review of the law, now is your chance to weigh in on your experience complying with its requirements and how you’d like to see the law change.
This isn’t the first time the FTC has reviewed and tweaked CAN-SPAM. In 2005 the group addressed questions about which emails were considered to be primarily marketing-focused, making them subject to the law’s provisions. Three years later the FTC clarified requirements surrounding the mandatory opt-out feature that allows recipients the option of ending marketing communications.
The current review will address technology changes, consumer protection needs and compliance costs and challenges for businesses that send marketing emails. In announcing the review, Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen said, “Regulations can be important tools in protecting consumers, but when they are outdated, excessive, or unnecessary, they can create significant burdens on the U.S. economy, with little benefit.” One purpose of 2017’s review is gaining insight into both the benefits and burdens of the current law, so that it can be modernized to optimize benefits while minimizing the burden of compliance.
Opinions of the law range widely, with consumers generally believing it insufficiently protects them from unwanted emails and many businesses asserting that complying with CAN-SPAM is costly and cumbersome. Whichever side you come down on, this is your opportunity to voice your thoughts about how well the law is working and make suggestions for changes to improve it.
Whether you’ve got great ideas or simply a litany of complaints to get off your chest, you can let the FTC know by commenting on the CAN-SPAM Rule Review form before August 31, 2017. Comments will become a part of the public record for the law, and the FTC does indeed consider input received through this process. Take the opportunity to make your voice heard, because CAN-SPAM affects your law firm’s ability to reach out to current and potential clients as well as what appears in your own email accounts.