asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will widen the opt-in provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations to give companies the same legal protection against those who send unsolicited e-mails as that enjoyed by individual consumers.
When we consulted on implementation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive last year, the majority view was that the opt-in consent requirement that applies to e-mail marketing to individuals should not be extended to corporate subscribers, including limited companies, because of the potential impact on business-to-business marketing. The Government's response to consultation made it clear however that we are prepared to review this in the light of working experience of the new rules. Both corporate and individual subscribers are currently covered by the requirement in the regulations not to send commercial e-mail which disguises or conceals the identity of the person on whose behalf it is sent, or does not provide a valid address to which a request that communications cease may be sent.