Canada’s New Anti-Spam Legislation: What You Need to Know

canada-anti-spam-legislation-CASLWhat is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)?

The purpose of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which is going into effect on July 1, 2014, is to protect Canadians and other individuals from spam, malware, phishing, and identity theft, while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace. Beginning on July 1, 2014, organizations will generally be required to have prior consent to email intended recipients protected under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). [b1] We highly recommend you start to take action now if you haven’t already.

Does CASL apply to my organization?

If you send commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to Canadians, then CASL most likely applies to you. CEMs, as defined by Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, are electronic messages with the purpose of encouraging participation in commercial activity. It’s your responsibility to determine whether CASL will apply to any messages you send. If you’re unsure, fill in the missing demographic and firmographic gaps in your B2B database to help keep yourself out of trouble.

How to Comply with CASL

According to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), your organization should follow these three rules to stay compliant with CASL:

  1. Consent – It’s generally prohibited to send CEMs, unless the recipient has given consent (express or implied) to receive it. You should note that opt-in emails to request consent are considered CEMs and must comply with CASL requirements.
  2. Identification – You must clearly and simply identify yourselves and anyone else on whose behalf the CEM is sent.
  3. Unsubscribe Mechanism – All CEMs must have a clear and prominent way for recipients to unsubscribe from receiving future messages. The unsubscribe mechanism must be able to be readily performed and be simple, quick, and easy for the end user.

Recommendations from ZoomInfo

At ZoomInfo we spend a lot of time thinking about data and how new laws will impact you. Here are some suggestions from the experts at ZoomInfo to help your organization stay compliant with CASL:

  1. Determine whether the message you’re sending is a CEM.
  2. If the message is a CEM, determine whether it’ll be sent or received in Canada. You can find out where contacts are located by using our database to fill in the missing demographic and firmographic gaps in your B2B data.
  3. Make sure you have express or implied consent for each individual contact (if required).
  4. Ensure each message you send includes the identification and unsubscribe mechanism.
  5. Keep yourself educated on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

Violators of CASL can be liable to administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) of up to $1 million per violation for an individual and $10 million per violation for entities. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation is going to change the way the business world communicates electronically with recipients accessing their messages in Canada. Get more information on CASL here.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended to provide or be relied upon for compliance or legal advice. You should refer to your own legal counsel for advice on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and anything else mentioned in this post.

Is your organization prepared for Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)? Listen to our webinar to find out how it’ll impact your organization.