A proposed anti-spam bill (S.B. 1680) introduced by New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath could interfere with insurers' ability to contact their New York-based customersby e-mail, according to Gerry Zimmerman, senior council for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII, Des Plaines, IL). The bill, which was introduced to curb or eliminate spam, was drafted in an "overly broad" way, Zimmerman contends, and if passed it will negatively affect insurers contacting customers via e-mail.
Furthermore, S.B. 1680 has the potential to prevent insurers that send correspondences electronically from meeting Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) requirements, without them even knowing it. According to Zimmerman, many carriers send GLB correspondences electronically as bulk mail. "ISPs typically detect mail that is sent in bulk as spam," explains Zimmerman. In its current language S.B. 1680 would grant ISPs the right to block e-mails without providing notice to the sender, and then give the ISPs complete immunity for their actions. To remedy this situation, the NAII is suggesting a way for insurers to certify that their transmissions are sent only to existing customers.