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SB-324 Unsolicited commercial mail advertisements.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/05/2021 09:00 PM
SB324:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 324


Introduced by Senator Limón
(Principal coauthor: Senator Laird)

February 05, 2021


An act to add Article 10 (commencing with Section 17610) to Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to commercial mail advertisements.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 324, as introduced, Limón. Unsolicited commercial mail advertisements.
Existing law prohibits a person or entity from initiating or advertising in unsolicited commercial email advertisements and imposes specified other restrictions relating to the collection and use of email addresses for unsolicited commercial email advertisements.
This bill would require a company that sends one or more unsolicited commercial mail advertisements to the same address in a year to include specified information on those advertisements, including a toll-free number that can be used to opt out from or cease receiving commercial mail advertisements from the company. The bill would require a company, upon receiving a request from a recipient to opt out from or cease receiving advertising, to remove the recipient’s mailing address from the company’s internal mailing lists and to contact any mail delivery service or third party to ensure that the recipient no longer receives the company’s commercial mail advertisements. This bill would subject a company that knowingly violates those provisions to a civil fine of at least $1,000 and up to $1,000,000 for each violation, and would specify factors to be used to determine the amount of the fine. The bill would authorize a city attorney, district attorney, or the Attorney General to bring an action to enforce these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 10 (commencing with Section 17610) is added to Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
Article  10. Unsolicited Commercial Mail Advertisements

17610.
 For the purpose of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Unsolicited commercial mail advertisement” means a commercial mail advertisement sent to a recipient who meets both of the following criteria:
(1) The recipient has not provided consent to receive advertisements from the advertiser.
(2) The recipient does not have a preexisting or current business relationship with the advertiser promoting the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any property, goods, services, or extension of credit.
(b) “Commercial mail advertisement” means any mail sent for the purpose of advertising or promoting the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any property, goods, services, or extension of credit.
(c) “Preexisting or current business relationship,” as used in connection with the sending of a commercial mail advertisement, means that the recipient has provided their mail address to the company for the purpose of receiving mail communications from the company, including information regarding sales, gift offers, or services.
(d) “Company” means a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company, or other form of for-profit business, which is organized under the laws of California, and employs 50 or more employees.
(e) “QR Code” means a machine-readable code consisting of an array of squares, used for storing an internet website address.

17611.
 (a) Any company that sends one or more unsolicited commercial mail advertisements to the same address in a single calendar year shall include the following information on the unsolicited commercial mail advertisements:
(1) A toll-free number that can be used to opt out of or cease receiving commercial mail advertisements from the company.
(2) An electronic method of requesting to opt out of or cease receiving further commercial mail advertisements from the company, in one of the following forms:
(A) An internet website address.
(B) An email address.
(C) A QR Code, as defined in Section 17610.
(b) Upon receiving any request pursuant to subdivision (a), a company shall do all of the following:
(1) Remove the recipient’s mailing address from the company’s internal mailing lists.
(2) Contact any mail delivery service, or third party, under contract with the company to deliver commercial mail advertisements and update the company’s mailing preferences to ensure that the recipient no longer receives the company’s commercial mail advertisements.

17612.
 (a) Any company that knowingly violates Section 17611 shall be liable for a civil penalty in an amount of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000), and not to exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000), for each violation. In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the court shall consider circumstances including whether the company’s conduct was willful, repeated, or continuous, any harm caused by the company’s actions, and the assets, liabilities, and net worth of the company.
(b) An action to enforce this section may be brought by a city attorney, district attorney, or the Attorney General in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.