Three Influential Industry Organizations Strongly Oppose Proposed Do-Not-Email Registry
Email Sender and Provider Coalition, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and TRUSTe Agree Registry Will Not Reduce Spam
Washington, DC - April 13, 2004 - Today, three leading interactive organizations that jointly represent a combined membership of over 1,500 industry leaders announced their discord with the concept of a Do-Not-Email (DNE) registry, currently being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission. The Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and TRUSTe believe that a DNE registry will not materially reduce the amount of spam plaguing consumers and will burden the senders of legitimate email.
"While we are opposed to the creation of a DNE Registry, we remain committed to finding workable solutions to reducing spam," said Trevor Hughes, Executive Director of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. "Absent a deeper understanding of the technologies, economics and business models involved, one could make parallels to the Do Not Call Registry and easily become convinced that a DNE Registry could be an effective solution to the spam problem. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth."
The groups believe technological challenges abound making a DNE Registry impossible to enforce, prohibitively expensive, and difficult to secure. At the same time, the DNE registry would impede the growth of e-commerce, confuse consumers, and provide a rich source of valid email addresses for spammers and hackers to target. Further details are available in a white paper released today by the three organizations. To download the document, please visit:
"We believe that a DNE Registry would do nothing to deter spammers, and in the long run would penalize legitimate marketers by making their efforts costlier and more time consuming," said Greg
Stuart, President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. "We are also firmly convinced that through the efforts of our groups, that the industry can achieve workable solutions to this problem."
"The 'Do-Not-Email Registry' would be a false and misleading header. Consumers, believing they will receive no email, will actually continue to be plagued by the 83-85% of unwanted email currently sent by criminal spammers," said Fran Maier, Executive Director and President of TRUSTe. "The focus should be on financial penalties that punish the bad guys not the good guys."
"Some of the most compelling arguments against the Do Not Email Registry model are the security and reliability issues related to centralization," said Margaret Olson, co-chair of the ESPC technology committee and CTO of Constant Contact. "A centralized registry creates a single point of failure that, if breached, would expose millions of email addresses to vast quantities of spam and any system downtime, which must be expected, would cripple all email delivery."
"Significant work being done in the marketplace today to respond to the war on spam," said Hughes. "Legitimate businesses are defining best practices that respect the informed consent of consumers. And, emerging technological solutions, such as the ESPC's Project Lumos, focus on bringing accountability into email. We should allow some more time to implement such solutions rather than focusing on a registry that won't deter spammers."
About the Email Sender and Provider Coalition:
The Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC) was formed in November 2002 to fight spam while protecting the delivery of legitimate email. The ESPC is comprised of 48 members including AdKnowledge, aQuantive, Constant Contact (formerly Roving Software), Digital Impact, DoubleClick, Experian, IMN, GotMarketing, ProspectivDirect, and SKYLIST. The entire membership provides volume mail delivery services to an estimated 250,000 clients - representing the full breadth of the U.S. marketplace. The ESPC is currently working on solutions to spam and deliverability concerns through a combination of legislative advocacy, technological development, and industry standards. Its flagship initiative, Project Lumos, is an industry proposal for a registry-based solution to the spam problem. For more information on ESPC, please visit www.espcoalition.org.
About the IAB:
Founded in 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) represents the leading companies in the interactive space. Membership includes companies that are actively engaged in, and support the sale of interactive advertising in addition to being responsible for selling over 75% of online advertising in the United States. IAB members include AOL, CNET Networks, DoubleClick, MSN, Google, Overture, The Walt Disney Internet Group, Yahoo! and over 150 others. On behalf of its members, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices, fields interactive effectiveness research and educates the advertising industry regarding the use of interactive advertising. For more information on the IAB please visit www.iab.net.
TRUSTe is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling individuals and organizations to establish trusting relationships based on respect for personal identity and information in the evolving networked world. Founded in 1997, TRUSTe runs the world's largest online privacy seal program with nearly 1,300 Web sites certified, including all the internet portals and leading brands such as IBM, Oracle, Intuit, Microsoft and eBay. TRUSTe also acts as an Independent Email Trust Authority, currently providing oversight, standards, certification and dispute resolution to the Bonded Sender email program. For more information on TRUSTe please visit www.truste.org.
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