Lovely Spam? Wonderful Spam? Optus fined heavily over breaches of spam laws

31 Jan 2020

Optus has reportedly paid a AUD504,000 (USD340,000) infringement notice after an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found ‘significant’ breaches of spam laws.

Confirming the development in a press release, the ACMA noted that this was the second largest infringement notice ever levied, following an investigation which found that between 1 June and 4 December 2018 Optus had sent SMS and email marketing messages to consumers after they had unsubscribed. Further, the regulator also found that Optus had sent commercial emails in the form of billing notices that did not include an unsubscribe facility. With the ACMA noting that it has now accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Optus to help ensure its future compliance with the Spam Act, it said the operator had specifically committed to appointing an independent consultant to review its systems, policies and procedures for compliance with spam rules.

Commenting on the matter, ACMA chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin said: ‘This is the second largest infringement notice that has ever been paid to the ACMA, and the largest paid for spamming … It reflects the seriousness of breaches made by Optus and its failure to honour its customers’ wishes to unsubscribe, in some cases on multiple occasions. Australians find spam infuriating and as a regulator it is something we are actively cracking down on.’