Office of General Counsel

Unsolicited E-Mail or "Spam"

 

On May 16, 2003, Governor Napolitano signed into law ARS § 44.1372, Et. seq, which regulates the use of unsolicited commercial e-mail (also known as "spam"). The law became effective September 18, 2003.

The new law permits vendors to send e-mail to patrons with whom they have an existing business relationship, if the e-mail gives the recipient the ability to opt out of receiving future messages and to restrict the sale of their e-mail address information.

The law prohibits the falsification of e-mail transmission or other routing information, it prohibits the use of false or misleading information in the subject line and prohibits transmitting spam through a third party's address (without the third party's permission and when it appears the third party is the sender).

The law applies to any person doing business in Arizona and to any person who transmits commercial e-mail from a computer located in Arizona to an e-mail address known to be in Arizona or to an interactive computer service whose equipment or principal place of business is in Arizona.

A party injured by violation of this statute can recover attorneys' fees, costs, and either actual damages or statutory damages ($10 for each unsolicited e-mail up to $25,000). Violation of the statute is a class 2 misdemeanor.

The statute further provides that it does not create a cause of action against an e-mail service provider (such as ASU) for transmitting the message.

University Technology Office's Help Center Web site contains information about unsolicited e-mail and steps users can take to reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail they receive. Search "spam" and/or "spam filter" for the list of relevant articles.

 


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