ACMA Fines Company $11,000

  • Downloaded email list contravenes Spam Act
  • Consent key factor in Spam Act
  • Must collate lists themselves

Web design company Bunology has been ordered to pay an $11,000 penalty for Spam Act infringement after using a downloaded email list

It paid the fine following an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) into emails allegedly sent by the company in contravention of the Spam Act 2003.

The ACMA issued an infringement notice to Bunology after it admitted conducting an email marketing campaign using addresses it had downloaded from the internet.

“Downloading an email list, from an unknown internet source, is asking for trouble as you almost certainly will not have consent to promote your business to the email addresses on the list,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

Chapman said that anyone who uses e-marketing to promote its products or services may be asked to provide evidence to show that they have consent to use the electronic addresses on their list. Organisations that use email addresses they have not collated themselves, should particularly consider whether they would be able to demonstrate consent.

“Consent is key to the operation of the Spam Act,” said Chapamn. “If you intend to promote your business by email, it is your responsibility to ensure that consent of the recipients has been obtained before sending the message—no matter where the email address came from.  It is in a company’s interest to be aware of their obligations under the Spam Act or they could face penalties for non-compliance.”