European Parliament proposes tough behavioural ad rules

Roland Perry lists at
Sun Nov 14 18:40:16 GMT 2010

In article 
<B71ED6E9-5ABA-4917-ADA1-A6E3ACDA828C at>, Ian Mason 
<ukcrypto at> writes
>>> What is needed is a mechanism for unsubscribes that is, from the 
>>>point of view of the recipient, trustworthy. One possibility would be 
>>>to have an "unsubscribe" link that goes to a trusted third party. 
>>>This could either be an appropriate industry body (say the DMA for 
>>>the UK), or a government department, or a specialist service  provider.
>> You seem to be describing an "Opt-out" scheme for email along the 
>>lines of the TPS (but more sophisticated in that it would be specific 
>>to particular senders).
>> --
>After a fashion, yes, but what I was really proposing is a "cease and 
>desist spamming" link where one would feel safe in clicking on said 
>link. Ideally, this would be backed by effective sanctions for:
>1) Not supplying such a link

That's much the same as "failing to run an opt-in scheme" at the moment.

If this is about otherwise well-meaning, but slightly over-enthusiastic 
and ill-educated marketers in real businesses in the UK, then a scheme 
like this has a chance of working, as well as giving that degree of 
comfort to the user. I don't now what the "industry body" would think 
about the cost of setting up a scheme for what is likely to be little 
genuine usage.

In the mean time the criminals will just forge links into the system to 
make it look as if they are legitimate.

>2) Any abuse of the link. e.g. Using it to confirm and address and then 
>sending further spam.

That's surely a problem inside the "Industry Body", or are we talking 
about the classic gotcha with opt-out schemes that the shady people get 
a nice clean list of users?

>3) Failure to stop spamming

That's the status quo today. Where will the extra teeth come from, and 
why couldn't such newly found teeth be applied to an opt-in scheme?

>Personally I strongly prefer "opt-in" with whacking great fines for 
>non-compliance but we all know that ain't gonna happen.

Fining the criminals isn't easy, you have to catch them first.
Roland Perry

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