Earlier this month I posted “Commercial E-mail and CAN-SPAM: What You Need to Know“, which explains CAN-SPAM (15 U.S.C. Sections 7701-7713), the federal law that aims to make commercial e-mail more truthful, more transparent and more avoidable.
This post discusses an interesting variation on the CAN-SPAM theme: Whether and how CAN-SPAM applies when a company uses third-party mailing lists.
Last month, my post Court Curbs Inspection of Employee Text Messages discussed an employer that was held to have unreasonably searched employee text messages because, despite a policy stating that employer-supplied technology must be used only for the employer’s business activities, that policy was undercut when it was only selectively enforced.
Continuing this theme, in a more recent case, Guard Publishing v. NLRB, the D.C. Circuit held that selective enforcement of a policy limiting employee e-mails constituted a violation of federal labor law.
In my opinion, Guard Publishing actually made two mistakes. First, the e-mail policy prohibited “non-job-related solicitations” (emphasis added) but did not prohibit other other non-job-related communications. So the employer gave itself the ability to limit only a fraction of all possible non-business communications.
A well-intentioned friend recently distributed – to many dozens of people – an e-mail claiming that next month all mobile phone numbers will be released to telemarketers, so it is essential to call the Federal Trade Commission’s toll-free number to opt out of receiving unwanted calls. The e-mail finished by telling recipients to forward it to all of their friends.
This e-mail is false and perpetuates an urban legend that has been circulating for years, wasting bandwidth, processing cycles and disk space!
The truth is that mobile phones are protected from telemarketing; the toll-free opt-out number should be used for landline phones.
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.
Today a client received an e-mail bounce-back from Spam Arrest, which provides a challenge-response system to stop automated junk mail. The first time a sender sends e-mail to a protected recipient, the sender must follow a link in the bounce-back message to a web page where, following user entry of a one-time verification code, the sender is identified as a legitimate e-mail sender.
During the past several years I have gone through the Spam Arrest verification process a few times and never thought much of it. But when I followed the link in the client’s e-mail, I saw something that, to the best of my knowledge, I had never seen before: the Sender Agreement reproduced toward the end of this post.