What is CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) and Why You Need to Know

New Canadian Anti Spam laws come into effect on July the 1st 2014.  These changes affect us all or at least anyone with an inbox and especially those with a small business.  The legislation is aimed at reducing the amount of electronic spam we get and with fines upwards of $1m for non compliance (individuals) and $10m (companies), everyone who cares is scrambling to meet the deadline – you’ve probably already received a flurry of emails asking you to opt in.

Personally, I use Gmail which does a fine job of filtering out spam. I don’t expect that the laws will do anything to deter those who have no standards.

3313850_thumbnailMost small businesses have been going about building their email lists and communicating electronically in reputable ways for years. These are the companies that will be impacted by this change in the law, their lists, which, for the most part, have been built reputably, will be decimated and not only will they lose this investment they will also be faced with having to invest more in order to track their compliance and in having to find new ways to prospect.

One great things about the new law though is that it is forcing us to rethink our digital marketing best practises and that can’t be all bad – there’s always room for improvement.

We all hate spam and we all want to stay on the right side of the law so here’s a quick guideline about what CASL is and why you need to know. It is the first in a series of posts we will be making in the lead up to the July 1st deadline so watch this space for more.  And remember, we’re not lawyers so you should get a second opinion from a qualified individual if necessary.

What is CASL

Bill C28 introduces sweeping measure to deter electronic spam. The act applies to all communications sent by Canadian companies, to Canadian companies or messages simply routed through Canadian servers. This includes any electronic message sent by email, SMS, Mobile, IM and social media.

Who Needs to Know

If you have an inbox or your communicate electronically you need to know about this. Basically this means you!

In a Nutshell

As of July 1st you could face huge fines if you communicate electronically with anyone in Canada who hasn’t given you explicit consent to do so. The law does not apply if you are sending out with the country nor does it apply to charities.

What Is Consent

There are 2 types of consent: a) express and b) implied. Express is the one that is important and if you don’t have it you basically have to get those who implied consent to opt in to having you communicate to them

Express Consent

Consent can be obtained either in writing or orally. In either case, the onus is on the person who is sending the message to prove they have obtained consent to send the message. In order to obtain express concept, you have to contact them before the deadline to encourage them to opt in. Your communication has to be written in a way that makes it clear what they are consenting to and should include:

  • Your name

  • Company name

  • Company address

  • Company website

  • Company phone number

  • Company postal address

 CASL Resources you might find useful:

Government of Canada CASL Site

Reminding Businesses about Anti-Spam Laws in Canada

Is Your Business or Charity Prepared for the New Anti-Spam Law

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