Managing Timely Compliance
Another provision is intended to reduce the amount of time a sender has to comply with an opt-out request, from 10 days to three days. "The three-day turnaround is going to be a challenge," Daniels said. "Multiple databases and sharing data make that a very tight deadline.""Now, three days later, the local ABC guy who has done business with them sends them an e-mail about variable rate loans because they might be interested in this. "In those three days, theres no way the national people could let all the local people with e-mail addresses know theyve unsubscribed and his e-mail would be in violation. I know some companies that are asking for it to be a 30-day time frame." Mitchell said thats been an issue all along. "There were some when this was enacted that called it the U-CAN-SPAM because it allowed a company to spam you for 10 more days after youd opted out. So its certainly been an issue with receivers and those who are completely anti-spam." Both Mitchell and Hughes agree that the act and the FTC are moving in the right direction as legitimate marketing e-mail battles the spammers. Both said there are three things needed to continue to work against spam: laws, technology and improved user education/industry practices. "This act allowed the DOJ to pursue spammers wherever they are," Hughes said. "There are some good tools in this act and the ISPs have started using it," Mitchell said. "Im not pessimistic. Am I optimistic? Lets face it, if we could have done what Europe has and make it that you must opt-in, instead of having to opt-out, thatd be ideal. But well never get there. The marketing lobby is too huge. So I think this is a good tool." Comments to these proposed changes may be filed online here. The full text of the proposed changes can be found here in PDF form. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.
Hughes said he agreed. "That can be tough for a big company, like a financial institution," Hughes said. "Lets say ABC Home Loans Inc. has a national e-mail list that they send the latest interest rates to on a daily basis and somebody on that list unsubscribes.