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Friday, 29 November 2019 12:05

Oneflare cops $75,000 fine over spam rule breaches Featured

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Online digital marketplace Oneflare has paid a $75,600 infringement notice for breaching spam rules by sending commercial SMS messages to phone numbers it found on public directories, and commercial SMS messages without an unsubscribe option.

Payment of the fine followed an Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation into breaches of the Spam Act 2003.

The ACMA has also accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Oneflare - a Sydney-based company - to guarantee future compliance.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the investigation was launched after the ACMA received complaints about SMS messages sent by Oneflare without consent.

{loadpostion peter}“Australians find spam infuriating. There is no excuse for Oneflare or any other business to be sending marketing messages unless the sender can clearly demonstrate consent of the recipient,” O’Loughlin said.

“All businesses need to be aware of their responsibilities, and if they break the rules, we will take action against them.

“Oneflare’s record keeping practices could not provide evidence that it had permission to send these messages.”

The ACMA has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Oneflare to ensure its processes comply with the Spam Act, including to have an independent consultant review its policies and procedures - and if Oneflare breaches the undertaking, the ACMA may take further action in the Federal Court.

This is the latest enforcement action in the ACMA’s targeting of businesses breaking spam and telemarketing laws, with businesses paying a total of $462,000 in infringement notices in the past 18 months.

The Spam Act sets out Australia’s spam rules, including when commercial electronic messages can be sent and what information must be included in the message.

Breaches of Australia’s spam rules can result in the ACMA seeking a civil penalty and/or injunction from the Federal Court, giving an infringement notice, accept a court enforceable undertaking or issue a formal warning.

The ACMA has warned that repeat corporate offenders may face penalties of up to $2.1 million a day.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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