South Africa has joined the global anti-spam initiative

Published Date: June 22, 2016

The National Consumer Commission is a member of the London Action Plan, which is a coalition formed by a number of regulators to combat spam, phishing and online ills. According to a statement, the members of the London Action Plan have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) relating to unsolicited communications. The purpose of the MOU is to record the various regulators’ intention to cooperate in the fight against unlawful spam as well as malicious messages.

At present, spam is regulated on an opt-out basis in South Africa. This means that a marketer can send unsolicited communications, but must allow recipients to opt out from receiving further communications. When the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) comes into force, this will change to an opt-in system of regulation. Under such a system, marketers will not be allowed to send unsolicited communications without recipients’ consent unless one of POPI’s specific requirements are met.

The London Action Plan’s MOU might bolster South Africa’s regulation of unsolicited communications. However, it is hoped that the MOU will provide aid in the battle against phishing and fraudulent messages in particular.

Danie Strachan

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