Colombia recently implemented measures to allow mobile phone users to block unwanted advertisements and spam via text message.
Through the Registry of Excluded Numbers (RNE), mobile users can register their number for free with the Colombian Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC), which has established rules and procedures that operates must adopt to help people block unwanted commercial messages.
Specifically, the CRC announced in September that “content and application providers, technology integrators, and operators…are obliged to update their own databases” to align with the Registry of Excluded Numbers “to avoid sending text messages for commercial or advertising purposes to users who have requested the exclusion.”
Operators, providers, and other companies included in the regulation may face sanctions from the national Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) if they fail to comply.
In addition to this overarching method for prevention, users can also block messages at the individual level. After receiving an unwanted message, if they respond via SMS with the word “SALIR” (exit) or “CANCELAR” (cancel), the company is mandated to block any future communications from the sender.
The Communications Regulatory Commission stressed that these measures are only intended to prevent unwanted commercial messages.
“It is important to note that registration in this registry does not affect the receipt of commercial or advertising messages that have been previously requested by the user and on which he does have an interest, nor does it restrict authorized messages after registration,” stated the CRC in a statement.