I just received an e-mail from AirBnB which patently violates the CAN-SPAM Act by virtue of not having an unsubscribe option. It’s even cheekier for AirBnB to be contacting me since I am deeply opposed to AirBnB and have never once visited their site, and never have or would use their service, either as a lodger or a host. That means they are very likely to have violated the CAN-SPAM Act in a second manner, by virtue of having harvested my e-mail address.
A big problem with CAN-SPAM is the only parties with a right of action are “Internet Access Services” and not “natural persons,” as in end recipients.
Here are the relevant provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act per Wikipedia:
The 3 basic types of compliance defined in the CAN-SPAM Act, unsubscribe, content and sending behavior compliance, are as follows:
- A visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all emails.
- Consumer opt-out requests are honored within 10 business days.
- Opt-out lists also known as Suppression lists are only used for compliance purposes.
- Accurate “From” lines (including “friendly froms”)
- Relevant subject lines (relative to offer in body content and not deceptive)
- A legitimate physical address of the publisher and/or advertiser is present. PO Box addresses are acceptable in compliance with 16 C.F.R.316.2(p) and if the email is sent by a third party, the legitimate physical address of the entity, whose products or services are promoted through the email should be visible.
- A label is present if the content is adult.
Sending behavior compliance
- A message cannot be sent through an open relay
- A message cannot be sent without an unsubscribe option.
- A message cannot be sent to a harvested email address
- A message cannot contain a false header
- A message should contain at least one sentence.
- A message cannot be null.
- Unsubscribe option should be below the message.
Here’s the offending message, with the subject line, “Discrimination and Belonging: What it Means for You,” in its entirety: