by CIO Staff

Marketer to Pay $50K Spam Penalty

Nov 07, 20062 mins

Marketer Yesmail has agreed to pay a US$50,717 civil penalty to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges accusing it of sending unsolicited commercial e-mail after recipients asked it to stop.

The FTC alleged that Yesmail, doing business as @Once Corp., violated federal law by continuing to send unsolicited e-mail more than 10 business days after recipients asked that the e-mail stop.

In an ironic twist, Yesmail’s spam-filtering software filtered out some unsubscribe requests from recipients as spam, resulting in Yesmail failing to honor unsubscribe requests, the FTC said. Yesmail sent thousands of e-mail messages to recipients after they requested it stop, the FTC said when announcing the settlement Monday.

Yesmail did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the settlement.

The U.S. CAN-SPAM Act requires commercial e-mailers to give recipients an opt-out method and honor such requests within 10 business days. The law also bans false or misleading header information, prohibits deceptive subject lines, requires that commercial e-mail be identified as an advertisement, and requires the sender to include a valid physical postal address.

Under the proposed settlement, Yesmail, a Delaware corporation based in California, is permanently prohibited from violating the CAN-SPAM Act, including failing to include in its e-mail a functioning return e-mail address or other mechanism that a recipient may use to decline future e-mail. The settlement also requires Yesmail to disclose an opportunity to decline to receive e-mail, and prohibits it from sending e-mail more than 10 business days after a recipient has asked it to stop.

The complaint and order were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

By Grant Gross, IDG News Service (Washington Bureau)

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