Spam consists of unsolicited text messages, email messages,
faxes or auto-dial calls that are sent for commercial purposes. Due
to the ease and low cost in which e-mails can be sent, e-mails are
the main focus of any discussion concerning spam. In Israel and
around the world, preventing unsolicited e-mails has gained
attention as creating serious
privacy concerns – in connection with the sending of
unsolicited e-mails as well as in connection with the manner in
which the e-mail addresses are gathered for the purpose of sending
the e-mails. In order to tackle these issues, laws against spam
were enacted across the world.
In Israel, 2016 brought the first amendment to the country's
anti-spam legislation, which created a special regulatory regime
for political propaganda and donations for non-profit
Opt-In vs. Opt-Out
Generally, Israel's anti-spam legislation requires a person
to opt-in, by way of an advance explicit written consent, in order
to allow sending that person advertising materials. This is opposed
to an opt-out mechanism, in which advertising materials can be sent
to a person unless that person states affirmatively that he/she
does not want to receive them.
There are exceptions, of course. If you have a prior business
relationship with someone, you may send advertising materials
without an opt-in, under certain conditions. Similarly, under the
new amendments, a non-profit organization or public benefit company
can send unsolicited materials seeking donations without an opt-in
from the addressee.
Importance of Securing Approval
Running afoul of the legislation allows the person receiving the
unsolicited correspondence to seek damages in the amount of about
$250 for each unsolicited communication, without the need to prove
any damages incurred. The legislation also provides for criminal
penalties, fines as well as managerial legal obligations and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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