The Spam Act 2003 prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages—known as spam—with an Australian link. A message has an Australian link if it originates or was commissioned in Australia, or originates overseas but was sent to an address accessed in Australia.
What is a commercial message?
The Spam Act 2003 defines a commercial electronic message as:
- offers, advertises or promotes the supply of goods, services, land or business or investment opportunities
- advertises or promotes a supplier of goods, services, land or a provider of business or investment opportunities
- helps a person dishonestly obtain property, commercial advantage or other gain from another person.
The Act classifies an electronic message as ‘commercial’ by considering:
- the content of the message
- the way the message is presented
- any links, phone numbers or contact information in the message that leads to content with a commercial purpose—as these may also lead the message to be defined as ‘commercial’ in nature.
What messages can be sent without consent?
Certain messages from the following types of organisations:
- government bodies
- registered charities
- registered political parties
- educational institutions (for messages sent to current and former students).
Read more about message exemptions here.
Facts provided by the ACMA