The latest news from California finds that state government has weighed in on the topic of mobile spam. A law! A law! Perhaps the good people of California will be protected from spam as long as there is legislation! Unfortunately, instead of attaching the ‘death penalty’ (perhaps the only true deterrent), ‘those people who receive mobile spam will be able to sue the sender to recoup the money spent to receive each unwanted message.’
With an amazing sense of timing, The Register also reported this week that a recent poll showed that nearly 90% of companies surveyed aims to increase their spending on ‘email marketing’ in the next year.
One may argue that there are more costs associated with mobile spam. It often costs real money in SMS fees or packet charges. Fetching your email from an internet server via mobile phone costs more. Spam consumes resources, in either a wireless or fixed line environment. But rather than enact a powerless and unenforceable law from government (good for press releases, but not much else), attack the problem from the mobile ISP side. If the people really want to be protected, the carriers will find a way to work through the problem in order to gain a competive advantage over the other carriers. Screen bulk attempts to access their servers. Allow users to register spammers and automatically block. Stop assigning the phone’s number as a permanent email address that can’t be changed (doesn’t anyone learn from the NTT DoCoMo experience in Japan?)
I think the real reason we see this is that Gov. Gray Davis must have received one of those unsolicited adverts for a Brittany Spears ‘video’ that he couldn’t explain to his wife…