Labor supports spam ban

The Labor opposition has supported moves restricting junk e-mail and mobile phone text messages under draft privacy guidelines released yesterday.

However, the guidelines released by the Federal Privacy Commissioner Malcolm Crompton drew criticism from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for creating unnecessary red tape.

Crompton is seeking industry input for the draft guidelines that give consumers the power to take their name off mailing lists and to see and correct their personal records.

They also require Web site operators to tell users who is collecting their personal information, how it is used, stored and disclosed.

Under the guidelines, direct marketing companies and other advertisers will not be able to contact consumers electronically, including via e-mail and text messages, without their permission.

Labor consumer affairs spokesman Lindsay Tanner said junk e-mail, or spam, had become a huge problem.

"Junk short messages on mobile phones looks set to become just as big a problem," he said.

Industry submissions on the new guidelines close in June and the new laws will be effective from December 2001.

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