FTC to Congress: Do-Not-E-mail Registry Won’t Work

The Federal Trade Commission on June 15 told Congress that a national do-not-e-mail registry won’t reduce the amount of spam consumers receive. In fact, the FTC said it might even increase spam and could not be enforced effectively.

In a report filed in response to the statutory mandate from the Can-Spam Act of 2004, the FTC also said that antispam efforts “should focus on creating a robust e-mail authentication system that would prevent spammers from hiding their tracks and thereby evading Internet service providers’ antispam filters and law enforcement.”

Rather than endorse a do-not-e-mail registry, the FTC said that it will sponsor a fall authentication summit “to encourage a thorough analysis of possible authentication systems and their swift deployment.”

Passed last December and enacted in January, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (Can-Spam) Act called for the FTC to develop a plan and timetable for establishing a national do-not-e-mail registry, explaining any practical, technical, security, privacy, enforcement, or other concerns. The FTC report analyzed three types of possible registries: one containing individual e-mail addresses; one containing the names of domains that did not wish to receive spam; and a third registry of individual names that required all unsolicited commercial e-mail to be sent via an independent third party that would deliver messages only to those e-mail addresses not on the registry.

The Direct Marketing Association, which opposes a do-not-e-mail registry, is breathing a sigh of relief. The FTC’s rejection of such a registry “reflects the widely held belief that a do-not-e-mail list would not be a do-not-spam list,” Jerry Cerasale, DMA senior vice president, government affairs, said in a statement. “It is imperative that there will be an authentication system in place so that consumers and regulators can determine who sent the e-mail and take appropriate action.”

Partner Content

The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.
Strategies for Maximizing Mobile Point-of-Sale Technology - NetSuite
Learn the top five innovative ways to utilize your mobile POS technology to drive customer engagement, increase sales and elevate your brand.