Definition

UCE (unsolicited commercial email)

UCE (unsolicited commercial e-mail) is a legal term used to describe an electronic promotional message sent to a consumer without the consumer's prior request or consent. In the vernacular, this kind of e-mail message is called spam. Since 1998, the Federal Trade Commission, a United States Federal agency whose purpose is to encourage free enterprise and prevent restraint of trade and monopolies, has collected an enormous database of UCE by asking users to forward unsolicited commercial e-mail to uce@ftc.gov. The Federal Trade Commission monitors UCE for three specific problems: (1) deception in UCE content; (2) economic and technological burdens on the Internet and delivery networks caused by the large volume of UCE being sent; and (3) costs and frustrations imposed on consumers by their receipt of large amounts of UCE.

This was last updated in September 2005

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