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Uber faces hefty penalty for breach of Australian spam laws

Wooden cube with new email notification icon on top of keyboard.

Rideshare and food delivery giant Uber has found itself in hot water, as it has been slapped with a substantial penalty of $412,500 for violating Australian spam laws. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) took decisive action against the tech company, emphasising the significance of adhering to privacy regulations in Australia.

The penalty comes in response to Uber’s breach of Australian spam laws, a serious offence that highlights the importance of safeguarding user privacy and upholding communication standards. According to ACMA, Uber failed to obtain proper consent before sending certain marketing communications to users, thereby violating the Spam Act 2003. Uber sent over 2 million marketing emails without an unsubscribe function. Moreover, 500,000 of those messages were sent to customers who had previously unsubscribed from the service.

The Spam Act is designed to protect Australian consumers from unsolicited electronic communications, ensuring that businesses seek explicit consent before bombarding individuals with promotional messages. Uber’s failure to comply with these regulations raises concerns about the company’s approach to user privacy and its commitment to responsible data practices. Accordingly, the $412,500 penalty serves as a stern reminder to all businesses operating in Australia, highlighting the repercussions of non-compliance with privacy and spam laws.

This penalty notice follows recent action taken by the ACMA against other companies, including Ticketek, DoorDash (a similar food delivery company), and CommBank. Enforcement of the spam unsubscribe rules is one of the ACMA’s compliance priorities and over the last 18 months businesses have paid more than $11 million in spam and telemarketing breach penalties.

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