Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – the major change to your email starting July 1, 2017.

By on 2017/05/08

Is your organization prepared?

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) covers much more than so-called “spam.” Commercial electronic messages (CEMs) are integrated into almost everything marketing, communications, public relations, IT professionals, and other departments deal with on a daily basis.

Despite Canada being the last of the G20 countries to enact anti-spam legislation, Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) is the broadest legislation of its kind in the world. Canada’s legislation is technology neutral, which means it can be everything from tweets, instant messages on chat programs, iMessages, emails sent from your work computer, websites, to downloadable apps, computer programs and software. Nothing is safe from CASL.

Sending anyone a CEM who hasn’t consented is a violation. The proof of consent isn’t in the pudding – it is in your organization’s electronic records, which you will absolutely need to have.

The cost of failing to provide proof that you did your due diligence to obtain consent can be up to $1 million for an individual and up to $10 million for a corporation, determined on a case-by-case basis.

That said, a message that includes hyperlinks or business-related information does not make it a CEM. Things like confirmation emails, courtesy texts sent to roaming customers, and blog posts on blogging and social media sites are not CEMs. Sending a blogger an email on behalf of a client offering them a coupon for their readers is a CEM, and if their contact information isn’t publicly available, it is a violation.

CEMs are a huge part of how businesses communicate with customers, and starting July 1, 2017, violations will have much worse consequences.

While the July 1 deadline is fast approaching, it is not too late to protect your company and make sure your CEMs are meeting the CASL requirements. Attend Ryan Turner’s workshop on May 24, 2017 at the Manitoba Club to learn about everything you need to know about CASL: what it covers, how it is regulated, and how to avoid a lawsuit.

Eventbrite - Understanding Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Starting July 1, 2017

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If you would like legal advice, kindly contact the author(s) directly or the firm's Managing Partner Norm Snyder at nksnyder@tmlawyers.com, or 204.988.0302.