Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) goes into effect July 1, 2014. It is designed to prevent spamming, but it will also impact the way you do business.
You must ensure you obtain consent from your customers or prospects before you send emails, newsletters, text messages, software downloads, or other electronic messages. If you don’t, your business could be fined up to $10 million. Individuals can be fined up to $1 million.
After July 1, you must have an implied or express consent to send them electronic messages. Plus, any email or text messages you send asking for this consent are also illegal.
How This Affects Your Ability To Market and Sell.
- Your sales professionals will not be allowed to make promotional pitches via email, unless the email address was published on a webpage for contact purposes, or if they have the express or implied consent of the recipient.
- If you purchased an email list, you cannot send emails unless you have the express or implied consent of the recipient.
This law applies to all businesses, no matter how small, and will be enforced. So don’t think that because you’re not a spammer, that you’ll be exempt.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) plans to levy heavy fines against both corporations and individuals within those corporations who break the law. Starting July 1, 2017, private citizens will be able to take legal action against companies that break the law.
- Educational Newsletters (no advertising, promotion, or solicitation allowed)
- Telemarketing follow up emails unless the email address is published in a public forum or otherwise had the express or implied consent of the recipient.
There are many gray areas in the CASL, and businesses, both large and small are struggling to interpret the law. Some flexibility will be given to those companies that can show they tried to comply with the new law, so do everything you can do to ensure your business is in compliance. For more information on the CASL regulations, visit: fightspam.gc.ca.