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Re: recent decisions in EEC commissions?

  • From: Roland Perry < >
  • Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 10:58:08 +0100

In article <Pine.GSO.4.21.0107140057390.360-100000@localhost>,
Anders Andersson andersa@localhost writes
>       A supplier may use other means for individual communication over
>       distance unless the natural person has clearly objected to the use
>       of that method.

This is straight out of the Distance Selling Directive.

We have attempted to argue that *every* Internet user has by default a
"clear objection" to the use of this method, and that only by opting-in
can he demonstrate that he has overturned that default objection.

The UK Govt accepted this when transposing the DSD, especially as it's
already a breach of the Data Protection Directive|Act to process my
personal details (email address) unfairly [#].

More recently, however, they have shifted their position in response to
lobbying from direct marketers - and are applying that shift to the CDPD
negotiations. They now say that if you have given your email address to
a supplier, in *any* circumstances, and not just in the context of
specifically opting-in to junk mail, that it is fair for the business to
contact you by email.

They go on to argue that the provision:

| 2 a (new) Senders of unsolicited electronic mail shall supply with
| their messages an address to which the recipient may send a request
| that such communications cease.

is a sufficient safeguard because you can immediately tell that person
to 'stop it'.

It's quite difficult to argue against this as a "common sense" approach
for that very rare animal the responsible spammer.

Where they haven't quite got up to speed is what they suggest is done
when people's email addresses turn up on fraudulently-obtained opt-in
lists, and you will have potentially hundreds of people to tell to 'stop

However, IANAL but I suspect that the CDPD cannot *allow* something that
the main DPD prohibits, so whatever it ends up saying, it cannot
over-rule [#] above. Therefore it is still possible to prosecute those
fraudulent opt-in cases.
             Roland Perry | tel: +44 1733 207705 | roland@localhost
Director of Public Policy | fax: +44 1733 207729 |
 London Internet Exchange | mbl: +44 7050 604080 |       /contact/roland

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