The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has slapped a formal warning on online retailer, Topbuy, for breaching the Spam Act.
After an investigation conducted by ACMA, the company was found to have sent out three unsolicited commercial emails to consumers in breach of the Spam Act 2003. The government authority weighed in on the debate after receiving complaints alleging Topbuy continued to send messages to people that did not give consent to receive content.
Topbuy claimed it obtained approval from the recipients’ family or friends through referral campaigns. ACMA formed the view the breaches were “indicative of broader system issues”.
“Many businesses try to acquire clients through referrals from family and friends, but this is simply not allowed under the specific opt-in marketing provision of the Spam Act,” ACMA chief, Chris Chapman, said in a statement. “Consent to receive commercial electronic messages can only be give by the relevant electronic account-holder – the person responsible for that account – and not by another person. It’s just not acceptable.”
While the contravention of the Spam Act can incur a fine of up to $1.1 million per day for repeated offenders, Topbuy was only given a formal warning since it took the initiative to approach ACMA for advice and to resolve the issue.