By Dan Or-Hof, CIPP
First Anti-Spam Act decision delivered
For the first time in Israel, a Web site will pay damages under the new spam act. On April 2, a small-claims court in the city of Rehovot ordered P1000, an e-commerce Web site, to pay NIS2,000 (about $500) in statutory damages for sending unsolicited commercial e-mail messages without receiving prior explicit and written consent.
The court's decision follows the enactment of Amendment No. 40 to the Communications Act—the Anti-Spam Act—in December of last year. Under the Act, failure to comply with a strict opt-in regime may result in NIS1,000 in damages per message received. Violations may also result in class actions and administrative fines of up to NIS202,000 (about $50,000). In 2008, the plaintiff, Mr. Elihay Pasternak, received 60 commercial e-mail messages from P1000, despite his repeated requests for removal of his details from the Web site’s contact list. P1000 sent two more messages to Pasternak after the enactment of the Anti-Spam Act, and the court ordered the maximum damages for each message sent.
The decision can be viewed at: http://www.law.co.il/media/computer-law/pasternak_p1000.pdf (Hebrew only).
Dan Or-Hof is a senior counsel at Pearl Cohen Zedek and Latzer LLP, with specific expertise in data protection and privacy law. He may be reached at email@example.com.