Did you know that it is illegal to send unrequested electronic commercial communication? Unrequested commercial email, known as spam, is universally hated. The time and resources wasted dealing with unwanted mail each year is monumental. Hence, the Spam Act 2003.

Under Australia’s Spam Act of 2003, it is illegal for Australian businesses to send unrequested electronic commercial communication. This includes email, SMS and MMS, and instant messages. Unfortunately, it does not cover faxes or telephone calls.

We can’t do much about the masses of dodgy pharmaceutical offers, counterfeit watch sales and the like coming out of other countries. But we can make sure that our own corner of the world is not contributing to the problem.

The Spam Act is enforced by the ACMA: the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Consumers are invited to lodge complaints about received spam messages that originate in Australia, and the ACMA investigates the cases.

Not only does the ACMA investigate, they issue warnings to companies in breach of the Act. In the worst cases, they will actually prosecute.

Some of the more interesting ‘enforceable undertakings’ include Commsec, Virgin Mobile, and MYOB!

Details of the ‘enforceable undertakings’ vary. Normally it involves a fine, and a requirement that the organisation undertakes training and auditing. The organisation must report on these activities to the ACMA for a set period of time.

If you have received a commercial email from someone in Australia, and you’re sure you did not request or give consent to receive, report it! You can submit your complaint to the ACMA via their online spam reporting form.

Coming up soon, we’ll tell you how to make sure emails to your customers don’t get mistaken for spam.