Optus cops $110,000 spam fine after talks break down

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Optus cops $110,000 spam fine after talks break down

Optus Networks has been handed an $110,000 fine for allegedly breaching the Spam Act after attempts to reach an enforceable undertaking with the communications regulator failed.

It is the second highest penalty handed out by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to date.

The carrier was issued two infringements notices for sending some 20,000 commercial electronic messages that ACMA alleges failed to provide clear and accurate sender identification.

The messages promoted the OptusZoo entertainment service to Optus customer mobile phones with the sender identification ‘966’, according to Chris Chapman, chairman at ACMA.

“Optus assumed that recipients of their messages would make the connection between ‘966’ and ‘ZOO’," said Chapman.

“However, this was not considered sufficient identification, as ‘966’ could be used to represent any number of permutations on a telephone keypad.

“Ensuring spam compliance procedures are understood by all staff is imperative for all businesses if they want to avoid the risk of costly fines,” said Chapman.

It is understood that both ACMA and Optus had commenced discussions in relation to the offer of an enforceable undertaking by Optus in order to resolve this matter.

However, consensus could not be reached on the terms of such an undertaking.

“Accordingly, ACMA decided to proceed with issuing the infringement notices,” said Chapman.

“Undertakings can provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to compliance.

“However, as in this example, ACMA will use its stronger enforcement powers where the undertakings offered are not considered an adequate response to the compliance issues raised,” he said.

Optus Networks is the Australian-based subsidiary of Singtel Optus.

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