Starting on June 29, all applications filed with the FCC must include an email address for FCC correspondence.

Seems simple enough, but it’s a big change that comes with opportunity for unintended consequences. For instance, expecting the government to maintain the privacy of its citizens by not using this non-voluntary harvesting of citizens email addresses seems a stretch, even if the ARRL did get the agency to agree to keep the email addresses private.

Beyond privacy, hams should do a quick evaluation of the reliability of their email service and dump anything considered substandard. That’s because if the FCC sends you an email message that can’t be delivered for any reason, your license will be at risk:

On or after June 29, a valid email address must be provided with each application, and must be kept current by filing a modification application as necessary. Under the amended Section 97.23, “The email address must be an address where the grantee can receive electronic correspondence. Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct email address.”

There are bound to be a few licensed hams who don’t maintain an email account and for these the ARRL suggests using the email address of a relative. But really, do you trust your amateur radio license to your teenaged granddaughters Yahoo email address?