Essential Guidelines For SMS Compliance

People interested in and coordinating compliance frameworks must adhere to SMS rules. SMS marketing and communications are more common now as younger generational preferences influence how employers, brands, and governments communicate with constituents. 

Knowing these essential guidelines for SMS compliance will keep everyone ethical and legal while looking for further updates.

An Introduction To SMS Compliance

SMS compliance refers to the rules everyone should follow to keep text message communications legal. The Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission are responsible for oversight in collaboration with other compliance and regulatory bodies. They work to create, revise, and update laws to govern SMS for security and transparency. 

Other organizations to become familiar with include the Mobile Marketing Association and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. Knowing the most prominent and authoritative names in SMS compliance is essential when referring to a body for advice or updates.

Following these guidelines ensures citizens trust who they are talking to. SMS has a 98% open rate in the first 15 minutes of sending, so senders must prioritize a foundation of trust and compliance. Using rules as a model ensures SMS is the accessible, instantaneous, and streamlined communication method of the future.

Know the Most Crucial Laws

The CAN-SPAM Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act are the most critical pieces of legislation regarding SMS compliance in the United States. The TCPA prevents spam and robotic dialing and texting. It dictates how to offer consent to receivers and how agencies keep records of approved and removed consent. 

The CAN-SPAM Act offers even more comprehensive protection to customers by helping connected devices and forcing more clarified opt-out instructions. It extends what the TCPA offers by making companies identify themselves with a name and return phone number.

A few other notable frameworks include SHAFT and HIPAA. They focus more on the content of the messages. SHAFT prevents companies from discussing these topics:

  • Sex
  • Hate
  • Alcohol
  • Firearms
  • Tobacco

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It regulates medical communications for privacy and safety. Other specific frameworks like HIPAA focus on more than SMS, but they control how to discuss particular content. 

Violators of these compliances receive fines, lawsuits, and other legal action after consumers report unwanted texts.

Provide Numerous Opportunities for Consent

People communicating over text should have just as many opportunities to withdraw consent as they do to allow it. Knowing essential jargon assists in covering all the bases:

  • Express written consent: Consent between sender and receiver that demonstrates approval to receive marketing communications with no obligation to execute transactions as a part of the agreement.
  • Opt-in: The action the SMS receiver takes to allow messages. Because of express written consent, they know what they are signing up for. Senders should always send a preliminary notice to confirm opt-in.
  • Opt-out: The action the SMS receiver takes to prevent further communications, usually by texting the word “stop.”
  • Opt-in method: The medium marketers choose to gain permission through written contracts or online submission forms, among others.

These aspects outline accurate expectations. For example, express written consent details how many messages customers can expect and how it will impact their data rates. Will the messages be promotional or transactional? Additionally, terms and conditions and privacy policies should be available with transmissions.

Know Violations to SMS Compliance

Following the rules connotes compliance, but it is as critical to know the boundaries as it is to understand what is within them. Knowing the consequences assists with motivating oversight and upkeep. These require continued effort and monitoring to maintain compliance. 

For example, messaging customers after they opted out is a TCPA violation. Texting people who have yet to opt in after getting a new phone number is another violation, even if the individual previously agreed with a different number and device. Under the TCPA, a customer would have the right to sue the SMS sender for $1,500. Compliance requires companies to know who is and is not on the National Do Not Call Registry.

Senders must avoid sending messages during quiet hours, which are between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. local time for the receiver. A few hundred dollars does not sound like a lot for a penalty, but a company sending tens of thousands of illegal messages may face a hefty price tag.

Critical SMS Compliance Rules For Secure Communications

Staying in tune with SMS compliance certifies legal attention and increases trust between enterprises and citizens. These are constantly changing as new scams and tactics arise, so it is essential to stay aware of how regulatory bodies adapt. Knowing the basics is an ideal start to secure texting.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

Posted in Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *