On May 12 the FTC announced its approval of four rule provisions to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. These provisions are summarized as follows:

Opt-out Requirements Clarified
To submit a valid opt-out request, a recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her email address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply email message or visiting a single page on an Internet website.

Definition of “Sender” Modified
The definition of the term Sender has been modified to make it easier to determine who is the Sender of an email message when it contains content from multiple companies, advertisers, marketers or other parties. The Sender has certain responsibilities such as listing their physical address, processing opt-outs, etc.

PO Boxes OK
A post office box or private mailbox established pursuant to United States Postal Service regulations may be used as the valid physical postal address of the sender.

Definition of “Person” Added
A definition to the term “person” was added to mean “an individual, group, unincorporated association, limited or general partnership, corporation, or other business entity.”

The effective date of these provisions will be 45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register, which should happen any day now.

It is highly recommended that you read the official FTC Press Release and FTC Detailed Notice to find out more about these changes and how they may affect your current practices.