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OFCA lays charges against commercial facsimile sender for contravention of Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance

     The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) today (May 27) laid charges against a commercial facsimile sender in relation to his alleged contravention of section 39 of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (Cap. 593) (UEMO).

     "We received reports from members of the public alleging that the sender had been sending commercial facsimile messages that did not contain his name or address. We also received reports alleging that the sender's unsubscribe facility had been disconnected and the recipients of the sender's facsimile messages could not send unsubscribe requests to the sender. After investigation, we served an enforcement notice on the sender in October 2015 pursuant to section 38 of the UEMO, requiring him to stop sending further facsimile messages in contravention of the UEMO. However, we continued to receive reports on sending of commercial facsimile messages by the sender, suggesting that he might not have complied with the enforcement notice. After conducting a raid operation in January 2016 and collecting further evidence, OFCA proceeded to take prosecution action against the sender," a spokesman for OFCA said.

     The UEMO regulates the sending of commercial electronic messages that have a "Hong Kong link" over a public telecommunications service to an electronic address. Commercial electronic message senders are required to comply with the requirements of the UEMO including, among other things, providing accurate sender information and an unsubscribe facility in the message, honouring unsubscribe requests from recipients of messages, and not sending commercial electronic messages to the numbers registered in the relevant do-not-call register.

     According to section 38 of the UEMO, where a person is contravening the rules about sending commercial electronic messages, or has done so and is likely to continue or repeat the contravention, an enforcement notice may be served directing that person to remedy the contravention. Any person who contravenes an enforcement notice served on him commits an offence under section 39 of the UEMO and is liable to a fine of $100,000 on the first conviction and to a fine of $500,000 on the second or subsequent conviction.

     "Since the UEMO came into full force in December 2007, the number of reports received by OFCA has drastically decreased from 8,792 in 2008 to 2,096 in 2015. Up to the end of April 2016, we had issued 3,182 advisory letters, 691 warning letters and 26 enforcement notices to commercial electronic message senders who were found, or were likely to have been, in breach of the UEMO. We are committed to taking prompt and proportionate enforcement actions to enforce the UEMO," the spokesman said.

Ends/Friday, May 27, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:18


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