|Received:||4/20/2004 8:13:18 PM|
|Organization:||Ford Motor Company|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
A1-2 A "primary purpose" test should be objective so the sender may determine to a reasonable certainty whether or not the message is covered. The identity of the sender should not be a factor; not all communication from a commercial entity is advertising or promotional in nature. B1 E-mail is used to negotiate transactions -"facilitate" should include "negotiations". "Product service" information may include information other than warranty and recall and should be included. "Directly related to employment" is not sufficiently clear. Employer to employee communications, regardless of the subject matter are part of an employment relationship. Even commercial messages are employment related when delivered over employer-provided computers to employees. Generally, once a transaction is entered, whether or not entered on-line, there exists an established business relationship. An established business relationship should be sufficient to support a subsequent communication as transactional, especially since each such communication still requires an "opt out". C1 Ten days is insufficient for processing opt outs. Organizations with complex structures, multi-channel, brand or division distribution processes and coordinated selling through authorized resellers may not have sufficient time to do so properly if required to refresh information every 10 days. This time limit may present an nearly insurmountable hurdle to joint marketing programs. It also presents significant concerns for coordinated programs with others. A longer time like the 31 day period of Do Not Call is preferred. E1 There should be only one sender. If there can be more than one sender, clarification is needed on the rights and responsibilities of each "sender". If each advertiser is considered a sender, required information exchanges for timely list processing presents practical difficulties. Honoring existing opt outs and capturing new opt outs for each entity in a communication requires time. Doing so in 10 days is problematic, even when there is a willingness share the sensitive opt out information. As a result organizations that host sponsored events may be precluded from using e-mail as a communication tool. E2 Providing a tool to permit a customer to forward information to a friend without providing some consideration should not fall within "inducing". When rewards, compensation, or other similar consideration is provided the company providing it should be consider the sender. The rule should apply to the company promoting or causing the communication. Scrubbing a potential recipient against an opt out list or prevent a consumer from forwarding a note will present challenges. E3 Use of P.O. boxes or mail drops to process mail is a normal business operation. These are recognized by the US postal service valid addresses. The use of either should provide a method for a consumer to reach a legitimate sender. Requiring a different address can disrupt existing processes with little, if any, consumer benefit. F1 Rewards. There is concern with a process that relies on rewards for information. There is the potential to produce more harm than good. The difficulties faced today in locating bad guys will not go away under a "bounty" system. More likely than not the system will be used when companies make a mistake or get spoofed by a bad actor, rather than as a tool to find and rid the Internet of the bad actors. Subject line labeling. By prohibiting deceptive subject headings and requiring compliance with this requirement a user may rely on the subject line when assessing the general nature of the message. Adding "ADV" would not materially add to the understanding and may result in automatic elimination of legitimate, constitutionally protected commercial speech if used indiscriminately in filtering e-mail messages. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important topic.