Posts Tagged ‘ISP and Telco Law’
Monday, January 19th, 2009
Telecommunications companies have been the biggest offenders for contacting people on the Do Not Call Register, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The Do Not Call Register was introduced on 31 May 2007 to allow individuals to stop receiving a wide range of unsolicited telemarketing calls. ACMA is responsible for overseeing the register’s operation and for investigating breaches of the Do Not Call Register Act.
In the first year of the register’s operation, telecommunications companies were responsible for 55 per cent of complaints received by ACMA. The complaints have resulted from unwanted calls promoting phone plans and other related services.
The ACMA have signalled a new approach, with ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman stating “Businesses have had ample time to adjust to the new laws and by now should have robust compliance measures in place,”.
We think that this new approach will result in more investigations and potential prosecutions, fines or enforceable undertakings. It is even more reason for business to increase vigilance when planning marketing campaigns in particular.
There are services available to allow call lists to be ‘washed’ against the Do Not Call Register to assist with statutory compliance.
*During 2007–08, there were 28,804 complaints received.
*Of these, 23,336 involved potential breaches of the Do Not Call Register Act.
*Over the past 12 months, ACMA has issued four infringement notices to telecommunications companies. This includes a penalty of close to $150,000 issued to Dodo Australia.
*ACMA has accepted enforceable undertakings from Dodo, as well as Astron Communications and People Telecom. Formal warnings have also been issued to Global Telelinks, Ezycall and m8 Telecom.
*ACMA estimates that 5 per cent of the businesses involved in complaints are responsible for approximately 70 per cent of the total complaints received. ACMA’s formal investigations are focusing on these businesses.
Monday, January 19th, 2009
In a decision that should send a warning to all Australian ISPs and Telcos, Optus Networks Pty Ltd (‘Optus’) has been fined $110,000 for breaching the Spam Act 2003.
The penalties were the result of two infringement notices issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) after Optus allegedly sent electronic messages without accurate sender identification.
The infringement notices were in relation to 20,000 commercial electronic messages sent by Optus to the carrier’s mobile phones users, to promote its OptusZoo entertainment service. The messages were sent with a sender identification of ‘966’ (these numbers spell out ‘Zoo’ on a phone keypad).
ACMA claims that Optus assumed that recipients of the messages would make the connection between ‘966’ and ‘Zoo’.
As we all know, 966 can represent a number of different words on a key pad, for example Zon or Yon.
Spam Act 2003
The Spam Act 2003 regulates unsolicited commercial electronic messaging in Australia. Commercial electronic messages include emails, SMS messages and MMS messages.
The Act sets outs that commercial electronic messages must involve direct or inferred consent, identify the sender and give the recipient the ability to unsubscribe.
The Spam Act provides a range of enforcement options, including formal warnings, enforceable undertakings, infringement notices and Federal Court proceedings. The legislation sets out penalties of up to $1.1 million a day for repeat corporate offenders.
We think that this will not be the last of the fines in light of a chain of recent investigations in the ISP Telco market, and comes hot on the heels of an enforceable undertaking given by Oxygen8 Communications last month.
It is still surprising to see that many clients still come to us with marketing campaigns for review, which in some way fall foul of the Spam Act – of even more surprise is that simple Spam Act compliance requirements, such as functional unsubscribe facilities, were not included in proposed email campaigns.