How to fight spam in different countries

    We write a lot in this blog about the principles of legal mailing and how thin the line is between advertising, which the user agreed to receive, and spam. But the reality is that, in the end, the decision to send out all the rulesor send a million advertising letters to some muddy base - it remains solely on the conscience of the advertiser. In the West, the situation is fundamentally different, and it will be useful for Russian companies entering foreign markets to know that the “innocent” mailing list of a foreign user’s database may turn out to be a serious threat to the company's finances, since legislation has already been developed in many countries, directly involving litigation and fines for each fact of unsolicited mailing. In this review, we collected and systematized information on how spam laws are structured in different countries of the world.

    The most stringent laws against spammers are in Germany and Australia.

    According to the Australian Spam Act 2003, fines can go up to AU $ 1.1 million per day. Being the leader in spam mailings at one time, Australia, as a result of the application of strict sanctions, was able to practically stifle spam. If Australia is far away, and is not so often featured in the history of Russian corporate blunders, then attempts to enter the German market are fraught with many sorrows and sorrows generated by ignorance.

    For every fact of unsolicited mailing, a German citizen has the right to sue and receive compensation - there are cases of average fines of 500 euros. A fine may be imposed on top, the amount of which varies depending on whether the distribution is made by an individual or legal entity. And although the maximum bar is prescribed in the legislationat the level of 50,000 euros , the total fine may amount to hundreds of thousands of euros .

    You should not rely on the fact that they will not find you - in Germany, not only strong legislation, but also some of the best lawyers - as noted by users of the linkedin professional platform - so there is no doubt that they will find you and cover everyone: and the service that made the newsletter (that is, us) and those who concocted it (that is, we hope that not you).

    American anti-spam legislation is milder, but in addition to fines, it also provides for imprisonment.

    Own strong anti-spam legislation has been adopted in Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, and Norway. , Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Great Britain and the USA.

    The principles of anti-spam policies of foreign countries

    It is not entirely advisable to delve into the intricacies of each specific legislative act, since there are general principles on which these laws are based. These principles are as follows:

    1. OPT-IN Principle

    The newsletter is legal only if the user subscribed to it and expressed its consent to receive this kind of information. The user must independently and clearly express his consent to receive the newsletter. Therefore, even a harmless marketing trick is illegal. For example, words in small print: “Everyone who has registered on the site will automatically subscribe to the newsletter. If you do not agree, uncheck the box ”- violation of the law, the user can go to sue you and receive compensation. And believe me, an American or a European will not miss the chance to profit at your expense - it’s stupid to refuse money if you yourself just donated it, even if you don’t know. Therefore, the first thing you need to find out before you start sending out the country is whether the opt-in principle is applied in it or it is not applied,

    2. OPT-OUT Principle

    This is an opportunity to unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time. That is why the line in your letter “if you want to unsubscribe - follow the link” is not just a courtesy formula, or “so accepted” - this is protection against fines and legal disputes.

    3. The principle of identification of the sender

    Hiding the sender's address, trying to hide behind the proxies, the “From” field is incorrectly filled out - in most of the countries listed above are the basis for starting a lawsuit with you. Also, under this principle, the obligatory indication of the company address in the letter falls.

    4. The principle of relevance of content and title

    The title of the letter should not be misleading, it should correspond to the subject of the letter. As a rule, it is also required that a note be put in the body of the advertising letter, meaning that the letter is an advertising one. For example, the American CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) provides, among other things, that an unsolicited commercial newsletter should contain the message “AD” in the subject line - short for “Advertisement” - “advertisement” .

    5. The ban on the use of software to collect addresses

    You cannot parse addresses, collect them by browsing Web sites, you cannot pick them up using the character substitution method.
    The concept of "spam" is not the same everywhere.

    It should be noted that in different countries the concept of spam is defined differently. In order to be categorically regarded as spam in one country, there may be a limited “loophole” in another. For comparison: in Germany it is permissible to do mailings if the client previously bought something from the company. In the UK, only private addresses fall under the anti-spam law, while the law does not apply to work mail. The American anti-spam law does not necessarily enforce the opt-in principle, but it may cover you with a copper basin for non-compliance with other principles, such as, for example, opt-out, AD, and sender identification.

    Reference material:

    1. Study of the International Telecommunications Council , 2005 - in 58 countries
    2. Anti-spam legislation by country , Wikipedia resource list
    3. EU Directive , on the basis of which anti-spam legislation of most European countries is developed
    4. Overview of the application of the law on advertising in the Russian Federation to the spread of spam
    5. German Unfair Competition Act governing the marketing of mailing lists in the country: fines of up to 50,000 euros
    6. North American CAN-SPAM Act and recommendations for businesses in accordance with its requirements
    7. Australian Spam Act 2003 - one of the harshest anti-spam laws

    And for starters, the previous post on our blog was about how UniSender fights against spammers trying to use our service: How UniSender antispam works .

    PS Read useful materials and ask questions about email marketing to our specialists on the UniSender facebook page . Like ?

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