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Cell Phone Advertisements Only with Prior Consent from Recipients

Cell Phone Advertisements Only with Prior Consent from Recipients

Posted October. 09, 2003 22:47,   


Mobile communication companies that send SMS (Short Message Service) advertisements to their users’ cell phones without the users’ consent will be fined from November. Also from next year, spam SMS senders will be fined at least 10 million won. The Ministry of Information and Communications announced this comprehensive spam prevention policy on October 9. Mobile communication service contracts will include this policy from November, and spam SMS senders will be penalized with amendment of related laws within the next year. Currently, anyone can send out SMS advertisements freely as long as the messages have an ‘Advertisement’ title; this was only stopped by an expression of receipt disapproval, which is the OPT-OUT function. From now on, however, they cannot be sent out without the users’ prior consent by adopting the OPT-IN function.

The Ministry of Information and Communications decided to prohibit the SMS advertisements from being sent out during the time from 9 p.m. until 8 a.m. even if they comply with the OPT-IN rules. Also, they will strengthen the supervising and monitoring power of the Information Communication Ethics Committee to develop tools such as computer phone chatting services, 030 and 060, and punish companies that violate rules as strongly as to the illegal spam SMS senders. The Ministry will also adopt the OPT-IN for e-mail services as soon as possible.

Kim Nam-chul, administrative official at Protection of Information Use Department, said, “Currently, many spam e-mail senders have their servers abroad and avoid the legal system here. As a result, if we implement the OPT-IN now, companies within the nation could be harmed. We are promoting an international cooperative system in order to establish right environment for the introduction of OPT-IN.” The SMS OPT-IN will immediately negatively affect the related businesses. As corporation SMS contracts with mobile communication companies’ decrease, mobile communication companies will experience a decline in their sales as well as the hub-businesses that carry out the contract and main communication service companies that lend 030 and 060.

Hye-Jin Kwon Seong-Yub Ra hjkwon@donga.com cpu@donga.com