On July 1st, 2014, Canada started cracking down on the use of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and how they are sent to its citizens. CASL, or the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, is Canada’s first-ever anti-spam law to go into effect. The enforcement of CASL is meant to encourage and increase their citizens’ confidence in using e-commerce, while protecting them from harmful things such as malware, spam, etc.
CASL will now put in place requirements for individuals and businesses to follow in order to send commercial electronic communications to Canadian citizens. In this blog post we will provide you with some answers to some commonly asked questions, as well as the repercussions for not following this new law.
Once the law comes into force, how does it affect consent?
“Knowing that people and businesses may need to change their practices when it comes to sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs), the legislation includes a transitional provision that relates to the consent requirement. There are two types of consent - express and implied. The transitional provision set out in section 66 of CASL applies to implied consent.
Under section 66, consent to send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) is implied for a period of 36 months beginning July 1, 2014, where there is an existing business or non-business relationship that includes the communication of CEMs. Note however, that this three-year period of implied consent will end if the recipient indicates that they no longer consent to receiving CEMs. During the transitional period, the definitions of existing business and non-business relationships are not subject to the limitation periods that would otherwise be applicable under section 10 of CASL. Businesses and people may take advantage of this transitional period to seek express consent for the continued sending of CEMs.
In contrast, express consent does not expire after a certain period of time has passed. If you obtain valid express consent before July 1, 2014, then that express consent remains valid after the legislation comes into force. It does not expire, until the recipient withdraws their consent.”
What are the penalties for committing a violation under CASL?
“If you commit a violation under any of sections 6 to 9 of CASL, then you may be required to pay an administrative monetary penalty (AMP). The maximum amount of an AMP, per violation, for an individual is $1 million, and for a business, it is $10 million. CASL sets out a list of factors considered in the determination of the amount of the AMP.”
PLEASE NOTE: In writing this blog post, I do not claim to be an expert on the subject material. Please refer to this site for more detailed information concerning the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).
- http://bit.ly/1cpRGNA (Canada’s Government Website)
- http://bit.ly/1pPI8mJ (CASL Youtube Video)
- http://bit.ly/1n0AeTX (CASL Webcast On Demand Video by Oracle)