Governor Granholm Signs New Law Curbing 'Spam' E-Mail

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

Small MI

July 14, 2003

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that she has signed a bill to help Michigan citizens protect their on-line privacy.  Granholm signed House Bill 4519 which creates measures to cut down on “spam” e-mail as part of a group of 21 bills she signed into law on Friday. 

“As someone who relies on e-mail every day,” said Granholm, “it gives me great personal pleasure to sign a law that will help stem the tide of spam e-mail for Michigan’s citizens.  Fighting to protect citizens’ privacy has been a priority for me since my first day on the job as Attorney General, and I look forward to continuing that fight as Governor.”
The new law will provide Michigan consumers with the tools to control e-mail “spam,” the Governor said, and will help curb the influx of unwanted e-mail solicitations.
“This new law will begin to return control of the e-mail in-box to the consumer,” Granholm said.  “It provides for new regulation that e-mail solicitors must follow and provides a way for consumers to opt-out of receiving spam.  This is the first step to restoring e-mail privacy.”
The new law requires that senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail include a subject line reading “ADV:” as the first four characters of the subject line, certain contact information, and a valid method for consumers to opt out of receiving future emails.  The sender also would be required to establish and maintain the necessary policies and records to ensure that a recipient who opted out of receiving e-mail solicitations does not receive future spam.
Violation of the law would result in a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $10,000.  A civil action could be brought by the Attorney General’s office or by the recipient of an unsolicited commercial e-mail.