The HKSAR Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (UEMO) has been enacted by the Legislative Council in May 2007. The ordinance covers any electronic messages being sent as text or pre-recorded voice messages to telephones, to fax machine or to email addresses, with a purpose of advertising, promoting or offering any goods, services, business opportunities or the organizations themselves.
The Ordinance will come into force in two phases. Phase I starts on 1 June 2007 and Phase II will come into effect probably towards the end of 2007. Any individual or business contravening the UEMO may be liable to a fine or imprisonment.
This ordinance may affect those HKUST members who have the needs to send multiple electronic messages such as:
- Schools or departments promoting their courses to prospective students;
- Faculty members or organizers of seminars / conferences inviting their audience, etc, etc.
HKUST members are advised to observe the UEMO and follow the rules below when sending multiple electronic messages:
- identify oneself and provide contact information;
- offer a way for recipients to unsubscribe from receiving future messages and honour such requests within 10 working days;
- not send out email messages with misleading subjects;
- not hide the calling line identification (CLI) when sending messages to telephones;
- not send commercial electronic messages to recipients registered in the do-not-call registers (available towards the end of 2007) unless consent has been given by the recipients.
("Multiple electronic messages" mean transmission of more than 100 electronic messages during a 24 hour period, or more than 1000 electronic messages during a 30-day period.)
For more information, please refer to the FAQs on Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance from OFTA or our UEMO web site.
Besides, users are advised to take good care / protection of their computers to avoid their machines being used by spammers to send multiple commercial electronic messages, resulted from mis-configuration of their computers, or of infection with malware such as viruses, trojans or worms. Please refer to our IT Security webpage on How to Protect your Computer for details.