Spam address-harvesting and cold-calling prohibition | ACMA

Spam address-harvesting and cold-calling prohibition

The supply or use of address harvesting software or harvested email addresses for the purpose of sending spam is prohibited. Under Australian law, a message does not necessarily have to be sent out in bulk to be considered spam. A single message can be considered spam. See the ACMA v Clarity1/Wayne Mansfield case for an example of address harvesting.

Cold calling—can I send messages to prospective customers?

You cannot email prospective customers unless express or inferred consent already exists. The Spam Act prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages. This includes messages that aim to 'test the water', or gauge the recipient's interest in receiving future commercial messages. These kinds of messages are in themselves commercial, as they seek to establish a commercial relationship. You need to gain consent through other means, such as a letter, a phone call or a face-to-face conversation.

The Spam Act is based around three key conditions or rules that govern the sending of all commercial electronic messages. All commercial electronic messages must meet the following conditions:

For more information on the key conditions of the Spam Act, visit the links below.

Last updated: 13 October 2016