An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation has found that Kogan Australia Pty Ltd sent more than 42 million marketing emails to consumers from which they could not easily unsubscribe. Instead, Kogan required consumers to take additional steps to unsubscribe including setting a password and logging into a Kogan account. The ACMA found Kogan’s conduct breached the Spam Act, which requires commercial electronic messages to contain a functional unsubscribe facility.
The ACMA had sent Kogan multiple compliance alerts before commencing the investigation, but Kogan's repeated contraventions compelled the regulator to take further action. Kogan agreed to pay an A$310,800 infringement notice for breaches of spam laws and also agreed to a court-enforceable undertaking requiring it to appoint an independent consultant to review its systems, processes and procedures, and to implement recommendations from the review.
This matter demonstrates the ACMA's willingness to take strong action for breaches of spam laws. Over the past 18 months, businesses have paid over A$2,100,000 for ACMA-issued infringement notices in relation to contraventions of spam and telemarketing laws. ACMA has also accepted nine court-enforceable undertakings and issued ten formal warnings. Enforcement action for breaches of spam laws can include formal warnings, infringement notices, action in the Federal Court, and accepting court-enforceable undertakings. Repeat corporate offenders can face court-imposed penalties of up to A$1.11 million a day.