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 in 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 there 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 are related to the activities of the business are allow.
- Messages related to legal obligation such as product recalls or to enforce a right are allowed.
- Referrals and consumer inquires 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 help personally liable.
- As of 2017, class action law suits will be allowed against violators.
For more information about the legislation please visit http://fightspam.gc.ca.