These comments respond to the Federal Trade Commission’s request for public comment on the CAN-SPAM Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 316.
The CAN-SPAM Act set a minimum baseline for consumer protections that senders of unsolicited commercial email must respect. These protections have been largely effective at giving consumers the ability to manage how a large group of companies uses their email addresses for marketing. At the same time, the Act has had little effect on the volume of unsolicited commercial email or on the amount of email sent by scammers and fraudsters. The Act and its implementing Rule, then, have been neither the success they should be nor the failure that critics describe.
These comments explain how the Commission should adjust the Rule to maintain its substantial consumer benefits while addressing its shortcomings. By leaving in place the significant consumer protections the Rule provides while updating and tweaking their substance to provide additional protections and account for technological change since the Rule was promulgated, the Commission would best implement the goals and structure of the Act. Moreover, the Commission should look for additional ways, within its authority under the Act and other statutes, to address the problem of scam emails.
Response or Comment
Roger Allan Ford, Comments to the Federal Trade Commission on the CAN-SPAM Rule Review, 16 C.F.R. Part 316, Project No. R711010 (August 31, 2017).