I just had an interesting meeting about South Africa’s anti-spam laws and how they are evolving.
The Protection of Personal Information Bill (not law yet) is being watered down by groups lobbying against it’s original Opt-In model.
What is Opt-In and what is Opt-Out?
Our current anti-spam laws use an Opt-Out model – any business (you don’t know) can send marketing to your inbox or mobile phone.. they just have to give you a way to tell them to stop (opt-out). You’ll see opt-out links at the bottom of emails and SMS messages asking you to respond with STOP if you don’t want to get their spam.
Our current Opt-Out laws create a nice environment for people to sell your personal information to spammers. Opt-out is clearly not working very well.
An opt-in model is much better, because random businesses are not allowed to send you direct marketing without your consent.
Why is the new law being watered down?
Let’s think about who benefits from the spam industry… in who’s interest would it be to keep our current opt-out model? Could it be your bank, your insurance company and your communications provider?
Turns out a number of these big businesses don’t like the idea of Opt-In. Many of them are part of a well funded industry body which lobbies government to keep our laws spam-friendly.
You might be surprised to see logos of companies which you are a customer of on this page.. or their names on this page. If you don’t think the companies you are a customer of should be supporting this pro-spam lobbying I encourage you to tweet something like:
Why is there a @BIGCORP logo on this page? http://bit.ly/p6J3Cv #SpamBrands
Feel free to get creative with your tweets, but make sure the @brand is mentioned and you include the #SpamBrands hashtag.
For more info read: Spam law heads to junk folder.
ps. You may be looking for some official Twitter names to use like:
FNB – @RbJacobs
MTN – @MTNsouthafrica
Nedbank – @NedbankSA
ABSA – who knows?
AVIS – @AvisSouthAfrica
Alexander Forbes – who knows?
Biz Community – @Bizcommunity
Standard Bank – @StandardBankGrp
DataPro – @VoxDataPro
Oracle – @Oracle
Cell C – @CellC