Magazine article Information Management

FTC: Subject-Line Labeling Ineffective against Spam

Magazine article Information Management

FTC: Subject-Line Labeling Ineffective against Spam

Article excerpt

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) submitted a report to Congress in June recommending that senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail should not be required to include a label on the subject line of e-mails indicating that the e-mail is an advertisement. The FTC created the report and submitted it for congressional consideration as a requirement of the CAN SPAM Act passed into law in 2003.

In the report, the FTC lists several reasons for its recommendation that senders of spam nor be required to include specific characters, such as "ADV" in the subject line of e-mail. It doubts that subject-line headings would help Internet service providers (ISPs) block unwanted e-mails because similar efforts in states and other countries have been unsuccessful. The report found that subjectline labeling is less precise than existing spam filters currently available for free through ISPs and commercial companies. The FTC also noted that spammers are unlikely to comply with requirements to label unsolicited messages.

The FTC suggested the focus should shift from subject-line headings to the development of new technology, such as e-mail authentication. …

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