Plenty of Fish $48,000 Spam Fine Was Based On Under 1% of Complaints

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Plenty of Fish was seemingly singled out by Canadian authorities who fined the dating company $48,000 for breaking anti-spam laws.

The dating site was fined in March, after the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission found it was contravening anti-spam laws, by not having an easily accessible unsubscribe feature.

The relatively new anti-spam legislation required a site’s unsubscribe feature to be easily accessible and quick to complete.

The CRTC said the fine came after an investigation, which was sparked by complaints from customers in Canada.

However new information unearthed by a freedom of information request shows that Plenty of Fish may have been specifically targeted by the authorities.

Business In Vancouver found that complaints about Plenty of Fish accounted for just 0.03% of all spam complaints made.

In comparison, the CRTC’s first target, Compu.finder received 26% of total complaints – for which they were fined $1.1m.

Documents obtained by BIV said the officials started investigating Plenty of Fish after just 70 complaints were made, out of 255,000 complaints made before March 2015.

The situation arose because new anti-spam legislation came into force on July 1st 2014, and Plenty of Fish’s emails did not comply to the new rules and regulations.

Once notified of the violation, Plenty of Fish paid the fine and changed its unsubscribe mechanism so it complied with the legislation.

One of the legislation’s authors, Anne Mitchell, CEO of the Institute for Social Internet Public Policy, told BIV the number of complaints were not relevant, as the law was to do with promoting best practice, and not offering an unsubscribe feature was a basic rule.

Markus Frind, the CEO & founder of Plenty of Fish, recently sold the dating site he founded in 2004 for $575m to The Match Group.

Speaking about the fine, Frind apparently told BIV: “Commenting on it will just lead to more trouble, so I’m not going to say anything.”