Legislation banning unsolicited e-mail advertisements commonly known as spam has been approved by the California Senate. The measure by Senator Debra Bowen of Marina del Rey was sent to the Assembly today by a 21-12 vote.
Current California law bars unsolicited e-mail ads if the recipient has notified the sender not to send additional advertisements. The ads must contain a toll-free telephone number or return e-mail address that allows recipients to cut off future ads.
Bowen´s bill would require e-mail advertisers to get permission beforehand to send the ads unless they already had a business relationship with the recipient. Advertisers who violate the bill´s provisions could be sued by the recipient for $500 per e-mail, and a judge could triple the penalty if he or she determined that the sender willfully and knowingly ignored the bill´s requirements.