|Received:||4/19/2004 1:49:15 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Dear Commissioners: I agree with you that there is a tremendous problem with unsolicited bulk email. It is causing severe headaches for everyone - especially those of us who are legitimate businesses using opt-in email lists as a way of promoting our products and ourselves. However, the proposed requirement that merchants maintain suppression lists seems unworkable. The costs and problems associated with attempting to maintain a credible suppression list are so enormous, as will be the damage done to consumers and businesses alike, that it just seems unworkable. Please consider this matter very carefully. Requiring the use of suppression lists will gravely damage many of the legitimate businesses and publications currently available on the Internet. To be very blunt, many of us who currently require permission from the consumer before sending publications and/or sales material to them will simply have to go out of business if the suppression list requirement is enacted. The targeting of email also seems somewhat one-sided. How many pieces of unsolicited regular mail do you receive every day? Yet, I know of no suppression list requirement for bulk mailers, and know of no cost effective way that a suppression list could work in that environment either. There simply does not exist any cost effective way to maintain a suppression list that can be considered accurate and usable at this time. Furthermore, there is still the possibility of a suppression list falling into the hands of spammers. This could and most likely would lead to more spam, not less. It could also lead to the destruction of a legitimate business that did nothing wrong, because of a spammer having some fun. Please reconsider the implementation of a suppression list. It just isn't a workable solution. Sincerely, David S. O'Bryan Ohio, USA.