E-Mail Spammers and the Data Privacy Law

email spammersEarlier today, a friend called venting her frustration about an ebook marketer who kept sending event invites despite request to be removed from the mailing list. She reached the point of calling them and asked why their email marketing materials sent does not have an “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” option.

The sender replied to her and said the following:

  • It is not illegal.
  • Everyone else is doing it.

She felt mocked and threatened to sue the ebook marketer if she received another email from them again. The ebook marketer remained unfazed and sees the threat to sue as not to be taken seriously.

Of course, this person can just simply block the email sender. But experience shows us that one can just use a different email address and start sending the same email again.

Spammers – be aware of the Data Privacy Law

With the National Privacy Commission in place, it is important for database owners (or personal information controllers) to know the Data Privacy Law. A fine point I would like to emphasize are the rights of data subjects (individuals like you and I) which includes:

Data subject has the right to know if their personal information is being processed. The person can demand information such as the source of info, how their personal information is being used, and copy of their information. One has the right to request removal and destruction of one’s personal data unless there is a legal obligation that required for it to be kept or processed. (Section 16 and 18)

Disregarding removal request, especially if properly documented and done with proper follow-through (such as a phone call), can already serve as basis for a complaint to be filed with the Data Privacy Law or pursue a lawsuit in violation of the Data Privacy Law particularly “unauthorized processing” of personal information and “unauthorized purpose” especially when the data subject has explicitly disallowed it.

Also, even without the law, ethical digital marketers know that unsubscribe request must be honored and respected. It is a best practice policy in e-mail marketing for more than a decade already.


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