Michigan E-Mail Registry to Go Live Next Week

Nov 04, 2005 7:51 PM  By

After a three-month delay, Michigan’s so-called child protection e-mail address registry is expected to go live next week, an official has confirmed.

Michigan legislators passed a bill fixing a technical glitch in the original children’s protection registry act last week. The bill was sent to Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s desk on Tuesday. It is expected to be signed early next week, making the registry effective immediately.

“It usually takes about five business days from the time a bill is enrolled to the time it is presented to the governor, which would put it [the signing] at about Tuesday of next week,” says Dennis Darnoi, chief of staff for State Sen. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester), the original bill’s sponsor.

Similar to a law that has been in effect in Utah since summer, Michigan’s child protection registry act allows consumers to register e-mail addresses and other “contact points,” such as cell phone numbers, used by minors. It also requires marketers that sell products illegal for minors to buy to scrub their lists of the names on the registry on a monthly basis.

Utah’s registry has been active since Aug. 15, and marketers have been getting charged $5 per 1,000 addresses checked to use it.

Michigan’s registry, was held up because the bill establishing it put a ceiling on the price that was too low to make it viable. Senate Bill 708 has lifted the ceiling from .03 cents to 3 cents per e-mail address checked. Unspam, the Park City, UT-based company that runs both registries, is expected to charge $7/M against Michigan’s list.

“The intent was always to set the ceiling at 3 cents, but the way the bill was drafted, it could legally be read as being three one hundredths of a cent,” Darnoi says.

Marketers have been complaining that both Michigan and Utah’s child-protection registries run afoul of the federal Can-Spam act, which was supposed to supersede state anti-spam laws. But fear of the heat that would come with challenging a law that claims to protect children has so far prevented them from taking either state to court.