Monday, May 26, 2008

Spam, spam, spam

Courtesy of DataGuidance, this recent development was drawn to my attention:

Spam will become a criminal offence on the 26 May 2008, when the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 will come into force. According to Schedule 1 of the new Regulations, Œmaking persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, email and other remote media, except in circumstances and to the extent justified to enforce a contractual obligation, will be deemed unfair commercial practice in all circumstances. The maximum penalty for spamming is a two years imprisonment.

The regulations also cover Œdisplaying a trust mark, quality mark or equivalent without having obtained the necessary authorisation¹, and Œconducting personal visits to the consumer¹s home ignoring the consumer¹s request to leave¹.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 implements the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) into UK Law.

The unusual thing is that we already have the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications 2002/58/EC (Art. 13) which deals with spam and is implemented in the UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, but this takes it one step further and makes it a criminal offence. Note, there are technological measures to deal with spam (not least e-mail filters) or as some prefer to use, Mailinator and SpamGourmet.


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