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Spamming Laws: A Comparison of US, UK, CA, DE, and AU

As the global economy becomes a reality, treaties are being signed that ensure that each country not only respects the laws of another – they may even be able to take punitive action against companies that violate those laws. One area of focus for any company that’s sending email internationally is understanding the nuances of each country as it refers to email and spam.

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The common thread across all countries is to ensure you record how your subscribers opted-in, where they opted-in, and continue to maintain a clean email list – purging bounced and non-responsive emails from your data. The infographic highlights:

  • United States (US) CAN-SPAM – don’t use false or misleading header information, don’t use deceptive subject lines, tell recipients where you’re located, tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email and honor opt-out requests promptly. More info: CAN-SPAM
  • Canada (CA) CASL – only send to permission-based email addresses, identify your name, identify your business, and provide proof of signup if requested. More info: CASL
  • United Kingdom (UK) EC Directive 2003 – don’t send direct marketing without permission unless there’s a previously established relationship. More info: EC Directive 2003
  • Australia (AU) Spam Act 2003 – don’t send unsolicited email, include a functional unsubscribe in all emails, and don’t use address-harvesting software. More Info: Spam Act 2003
  • Germany (DE) Federal Data Protection Act – don’t send unsolicited email, you must have permission. Don’t conceal the sender’s identity, provide a valid address for opt-out requests, and provide proof of sign up if asked. More info: Federal Data Protection Act

The European Union Directive on Privacy also applies to all the members of the EU. According to the European Union Directive on Privacy, you must have prior explicit consent before sending any commercial email, an opt-out or unsubscribe option must be easy and clear for recipients of commercial messages, and you must be in compliance with each country’s additional rules.

This infographic from Vertical Response highlights the key spam law differences from countries in North America and Europe.

Spam Laws - US, CA, UK, AU, GE, Europe

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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