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DoorDash penalised $2 million for spam breaches


Food delivery platform DoorDash has paid a $2,011,320 infringement notice for sending over one million texts and emails which breached Australian spam rules.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) commenced an investigation into DoorDash following complaints from customers as well as people who had inquired about or commenced the process to become delivery drivers.

The investigation found that between February and October 2022, DoorDash sent more than 566,000 promotional emails to customers who had unsubscribed from these messages and sent more than 515,000 texts without an unsubscribe facility to prospective drivers. 

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said spam compliance is an ongoing priority for the ACMA as the agency continues to find breaches across businesses that should know better.

“Australians find it incredibly frustrating when they receive marketing messages from businesses like DoorDash after they have taken the time to unsubscribe,” Ms O’Loughlin said. 

“It is unacceptable that DoorDash’s prospective contractors were sent messages without an unsubscribe facility about a business opportunity that they may not have wished to pursue.”

The ACMA’s investigation revealed DoorDash had mischaracterised texts sent to prospective contractors as being solely factual in nature, and therefore outside the scope of the spam rules. The messages contained commercial aspects, such as offers and incentives intended to promote a business opportunity as a delivery driver. 

“When messages include this kind of content they are considered commercial under spam rules and must include an unsubscribe facility,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“DoorDash is a large business conducting high-volume marketing so there is no excuse for non-compliance. This is a further warning to all businesses that engage in email and SMS marketing that now is the time to review your spam compliance.”

In addition to the financial penalty, the ACMA has also accepted a comprehensive three-year court-enforceable undertaking from DoorDash committing it to appoint an independent consultant to review its compliance with spam rules and to make improvements where needed. DoorDash must also report regularly to the ACMA.

This latest action follows several recent enforcement announcements against well-known businesses operating in Australia for spam breaches. Businesses have paid over $10 million in penalties for breaching spam and telemarketing laws over the past 18 months.

Consumers can make a complaint about spam here. For more information on how to reduce unwanted emails, texts and phone calls, visit the ACMA website.

MR 25/2023

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