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As of July 1, 2014, Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into effect. Are you ready? Do you know what it is and how it will impact you?

 

I am not going to attempt to reproduce the entire interpretation of the legislation in this blog. First, it would be the largest blog post in history and second, I am not a lawyer. This blog post is not intended to be official advice on CASL but to give you a few things to start thinking about and to encourage you to find out how it will affect your organization.

 

CASL applies to any individual or organization in Canada who sends e-mails, texts, social media messages or any other form of electronic communications to a recipient, regardless of whether they are a business, consumer or individual.

 

You Need Consent:

In order to safely message people, you need their consent. There are 2 types of consent, express and implied. 

 

Implied consent may be time-limited. For example, you have 6 months to follow up on a customer inquiry.

 

Express consent means you can continue to message the person until they request otherwise but it is an opt-in process. This means they must agree to you emailing them.

 

What Are The Exceptions?

  • If you have a relationship with a business you can send messages if it concerns the activities of the business.
  • Message sent internally in a business that is related to the activities of the business is allowed.
  • Messages related to legal obligations such as product recalls or to enforce a right are allowed.
  • Referrals and consumer inquiries are allowed.
  • Canadian registered charities and political parties have limited exemptions for certain purposes.
  • You are allowed to send messages to personal and family relationships.
  • You can send messages to people who you have an existing non-business relationship.

What are the consequences?

  • Fines up to $10 million per violation for companies and up to $1 million per violation for individuals.
  • Liability on companies for violations of their employees and agents.
  • Corporate officers and directors can be held personally liable.
  • As of 2017, class action lawsuits will be allowed against violators.

For more information about the legislation please visit http://fightspam.gc.ca.

 

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