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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA issued a Regulatory Alert (04-RA-07) last week on the potential impact of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act on credit union operations. “The purpose of this letter is to inform Credit Unions that the sending of information by electronic mail, including marketing information initiated by the credit union or a third party, may trigger compliance requirements recently established by the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM),” the Regulatory Alert read. The law became effective Jan. 1 and requires unsolicited commercial e-mails to be labeled and include opt-out instructions with the sender’s physical and electronic address. It prohibits the use of deceptive subject lines and false headers, according to the Regulatory Alert. CAN-SPAM also permits but does not require the Federal Trade Commission to create a “do-not-mail” list. The new law preempts state laws except to the extent state laws prohibit “falsity and deception.” CAN-SPAM also requires the inclusion of a functioning return address or comparable mechanism in spam and prohibits transmission of spam after objection, including transferring or releasing an e-mail address. These requirements apply to any credit union that initiates spam and any third party vendors they might employ. Credit unions using a third party should ensure they are CAN-Spam compliant. “NCUA encourages credit unions to familiarize themselves with all the CAN-SPAM requirements if they intend to send unsolicited electronic advertisements or solicitations,” the alert said. Questions were directed to the appropriate regional director or state supervisory authority.

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