Before: Arbitrator name arbitrator (A), Respondent: - (R), Claimant: CAcert Inc. (C), Case: a20190420.1

History Log

EOT Private Part

Original Dispute

Discovery and Deliberations

Board wants to send an email to all members of the CAcert community. As this email also addresses important details regarding their membership and the future of the whole community, all members shall be addressed, overriding the members subscription of announcements.

Generally it is fine for CAcert to address its members regarding their membership from time to time. Reasons may be the change of policies relevant to the membership, changes of other details regarding the usage of CAcert services or also on general purposes of the organization.

Also the frequency of such mailings was taken into consideration. With being a member at CAcert a user can expect to hear from CAcert from time to time. Since CAcert members get such mails just every few years, sending such an email now seems appropriate. As a rule of thumb it should be fine to address members up to a very few times per year.

CAcert Community Agreement and Privacy Policy contain no details on the usage of the users email address. Especially regarding the European GDPR, the policies may need an update and may also include permissions for CAcert to send information regarding the membership so that such emails can be sent without arbitration.

The email will contain a call for donations, and therefore can be categorized as commercial mail.

As the email addresses members that signed up for CAcert, such an mailing should comply with common applicable Spam acts. However, I do not see the responsibility for complying with such regulations with the arbitrator, but with the board of the association.

Users may have requested to delete their account, but the request may have not been executed when sending the mailing. Such users should be excluded from the mailing.

Also involved parties should be aware, that such a mailing can trigger unsubscribe/account deletion requests. Such requests will have to be handled timely.


As CAcert arbitator I have no objections to send an email to the whole CAcert community about the current state of the organisation. I authorize board and other persons required to deliver that email to all CAcert community members to take the necessary actions.

The contents of the email are not part of this case and can decided on by the board. It is also the responsibility of the board to comply with applicable spam regulations.

Users who have requested to delete their account up to three days before the mailing may not receive the email.

Braunschweig, Germany, 2019-09-01 Mario Lipinski

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