Singapore Spam Control Bill 2007

Singapore Spam Control Bill was passed in year 2007 to provide a framework in which direct marketeers must follow. The link to download the full spam control bill document is at the end of this article. The following is a summary of the bill with regards to unsolicited electronic messages (email or sms):

1. Unsubscribe Facility

Each unsolicited electronic message must have Contact information. It can be in the form of an e-mail address, an Internet location address, a telephone number, a fax number or a postal address that the recipient can use to submit an unsubscribe request. It is strongly suggested that this contact takes the same form as the electronic message itself – an e-mail should offer an unsubscribe facility through e-mail, while a mobile SMS should offer a reply via the recipient’s cellphone.

The above contact should be a valid contact for at least 30 days, that could receive unsubscribe requests from recipients of spam. The use of this contact should not cost the sender of unsubscribe request more than the usual cost of using such a contact.

Once an unsubscribe request is submitted, the sender should remove the recipient’s electronic mail address or mobile phone number from their mailing list within 10 business days.

2. Labelling and other Requirements

Each unsolicited commercial electronic message should include:
a) Correct and non-misleading title in the subject field of the message, if the message has a subject field.
b) <ADV> before the title of the message, or in the case where there is no subject field, before the actual content of the message.
c) Correct and non-misleading header information where applicable.
d) An accurate and functional e-mail address or telephone number by which the spammer could readily be contacted.

3. Civil Recourse Against Non-compliant Spammers

If you have suffered loss or damages as a result of the transmission of non-compliant spam, you could also seek legal recourse against the spammer. This takes the form of a civil action against the spammer in court. You could also seek civil action for those who authorise the sending of non-compliant spam.

If successful, the court could grant injunction, damages, and statutory damages. Statutory damages that could be awarded would be up to S$25 per non-compliant spam, up to a maximum of S$1million. If you wish to claim damages beyond S$1million, you could opt for grant of actual damages instead. In addition, the court can order the spammer to pay for the costs and expenses of the legal proceedings.