E-marketing unsubscribe laws clarified

This article was written by iTWire – more than Tech News

AUTHORITY NEWS: The law setting out how businesses must action unsubscribe (or ‘opt-out’) messages from consumers receiving commercial SMS and email has recently been further clarified.

Businesses must not require consumers to do either of the following:

• Provide personal information (other than the electronic address to which a marketing message was sent)

• Create or log-in to an account.

The rules are set out in the updated Spam Regulations 2021 that commenced on 1 April 2021 after being reviewed by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

The ACMA is actively monitoring for indications of non-compliance. If breaches of the spam laws are found, those responsible for sending or authorising the messages may face penalties of up to $222,000 per day and/or action in the Federal Court of Australia.


Subject to limited exceptions, Australians have a right not to be sent commercial messages unless the business has their consent. They also have a right to unsubscribe from e-marketing at any time.

Businesses must generally:

• Provide a clear and working unsubscribe message in each marketing SMS or email

• Action unsubscribe requests within 5 business days of receiving them for consumers.

The Spam Regulations and the Spam Act 2003 protect people from unwanted intrusions on their privacy and ensure that they can easily unsubscribe from marketing messages. Unwanted marketing is frustrating and time-consuming for people to deal with, especially when they have taken action to stop it.

Under the Spam Act, some limited exceptions may apply to the obligations to provide a functional unsubscribe facility, including where it may be inconsistent with the terms of a contract or agreement between a business and an e-marketing recipient.

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