Commonwealth Bank fined millions over spam emails

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By Published On: June 8, 20230 Comments

Commonwealth Bank has been fined a record breaking $3.55 million after it was found to have breached spam laws.

A record breaking fine was handed down to Commonwealth Bank this week after the bank was found guilty of sending more than 65 million emails that breached Australian spam laws.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found Commonwealth Bank had sent more than 61 million marketing emails to customers that required them to log in to unsubscribe, and a further four million emails without a working unsubscribe option, and over 5000 emails disregarding customer’s requests to unsubscribe. Under Australian law, companies must give people the option to unsubscribe from marketing messages and must make it easy to do so.

Commonwealth Bank was handed down a hefty $3.55 million fine for the breaches of the Spam Act 2003, the largest ever fine to be given by ACMA.

“ACMA gave early warnings it might have some issues and the steps it took were ineffective,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said. “The failure to fix the issues shows a complete disregard for the spam rules and the rights of its customers. Consumers are frustrated by marketing intrusions on their privacy, especially when there is no option, or it is difficult, to unsubscribe.”

Commonwealth Bank acknowledged accepted the findings of ACMA’s investigation. “We apologise to all customers impacted by these issues which should not have occurred,” CBA group executive marketing and corporate affairs Monique Macleod said. “We’ve fixed the problem and are making changes to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future.”

“Since reporting this matter to ACMA, we’ve fixed the issues that were the subject of ACMA’s investigation, and strengthened our systems, processes and controls to support ongoing compliance,” she said.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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