Spam consists of unsolicited text messages, email messages, faxes or auto-dial calls that are sent for commercial purposes. Due to the ease and low cost in which e-mails can be sent, e-mails are the main focus of any discussion concerning spam. In Israel and around the world, preventing unsolicited e-mails has gained attention as creating serious privacy concerns – in connection with the sending of unsolicited e-mails as well as in connection with the manner in which the e-mail addresses are gathered for the purpose of sending the e-mails. In order to tackle these issues, laws against spam were enacted across the world.
In Israel, 2016 brought the first amendment to the country’s anti-spam legislation, which created a special regulatory regime for political propaganda and donations for non-profit organizations.
Opt-In vs. Opt-Out
Generally, Israel’s anti-spam legislation requires a person to opt-in, by way of an advance explicit written consent, in order to allow sending that person advertising materials. This is opposed to an opt-out mechanism, in which advertising materials can be sent to a person unless that person states affirmatively that he/she does not want to receive them.
There are exceptions, of course. If you have a prior business relationship with someone, you may send advertising materials without an opt-in, under certain conditions. Similarly, under the new amendments, a non-profit organization or public benefit company can send unsolicited materials seeking donations without an opt-in from the addressee.
Importance of Securing Approval
Running afoul of the legislation allows the person receiving the unsolicited correspondence to seek damages in the amount of about $250 for each unsolicited communication, without the need to prove any damages incurred. The legislation also provides for criminal penalties, fines as well as managerial legal obligations and liabilities.
The right legal advice can go a long way toward helping you stay compliant with Israel’s anti-spam legislation. The lawyers at Barnea can help you navigate the pitfalls of sending advertising communications. Contact us today so we can help you follow a path toward compliant advertising.