Cryptocurrency exchange Investbybit Pty Ltd, trading as Binance Australia, has paid an infringement notice of $2,000,220 as part of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) ongoing crackdown on spam.
An ACMA investigation found Binance Australia sent over 5.7 million commercial emails that either made it difficult for consumers to opt-out by requiring them to log into an account or didn’t contain a way to unsubscribe. The ACMA also found that Binance sent 25 emails without the consent of the recipients.
The emails, which were sent between October 2021 and May 2022, promoted Binance Australia’s cryptocurrency trading services and other crypto financial products.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said people have the right to unsubscribe from commercial messages like those sent by Binance without having to jump through hoops or make repeated requests or formal complaints.
“Customers should not be made to log-in to stop receiving messages,” said Ms O’Loughlin.
"It is very concerning that we continue to see breaches of the spam laws from large size companies that should have good compliance practices in place. The Spam Act has been in force since 2003, so there are simply no excuses,” she said.
"It is also disappointing that the ACMA had contacted Binance Australia on several occasions leading up to the investigation to warn it that it may have had compliance problems and it failed to take adequate action.”
The ACMA has also accepted a 3-year court-enforceable undertaking from Binance Australia that commits it to an independent review of its e-marketing practices and implementation of improvements. The company must also train its staff and report to the ACMA under the arrangements.
Over the past 18 months, businesses have paid over $6.3 million in penalties for breaching spam and telemarketing laws. The ACMA has also accepted 12 court-enforceable undertakings and given 2 formal warnings.
Enforcing SMS and email unsubscribe rules is a 2022-23 compliance priority for the ACMA. Recent ACMA spam act enforcement actions can be found here.
Consumers can make a complaint about spam at http://www.acma.gov.au/dealing-with-spam.
For more information on how to reduce unwanted emails, texts and phone calls, visit the ACMA website.