Canada’s Anti-Spam Law – The Rundown

This is targeted to my Canadian readers. Canada has come out with a new Anti-Spam law, dubbed “CASL“. It will affect you if you use email marketing to promote your business to customers and prospects in Canada.

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Effective July 1st 2014, when you send commercial email, instant messages, or other electronic marketing messages to residents in Canada, you’re going to have to make sure you are in compliance with the new regulations or face hefty fines. Here’s what you’ll need in order to comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation:

  • Consent from the recipient, either expressed or implied.
  • Clear identification on the message (your business name and contact information).
  • An unsubscribe mechanism – basically, a way for the recipient to inform you to stop sending them messages in the future.

What’s the point of enacting these three rules?

According to the Government of Canada’s web page for the Anti-Spam Legislation, it’s all about improving online protection for Canadians while “ensuring that businesses can compete in a global marketplace.”

The goal behind the new law is to stop unwanted emails and text messages. Even if the promotional messages you send to customers don’t look like total “SPAM!” you could still be at risk for severe penalties if you don’t follow the new rules. Express consent is required before sending any email. That means that people have to explicitly say they want to receive email, by either checking a box or putting in an email address in a place that clearly states you will be receiving email.

Penalties include:

  • Up to $1 million fines for individuals
  • Up to $10 million fines for companies

Read more about the new CASL law here: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/casl-lcap.htm

Questions? Comments? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below!

Karl Nyen has been involved in the virtualization, server, web development and web hosting industry for over 10 years. In his current role at a managed service provider, he is focused on cloud-based solutions for enterprise clients. His diverse background of sales, management, and architectural/technical expertise bring a unique perspective to the virtualization practice.