Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL): What You Need to Know

If your current send list includes recipients in Canada, the new anti-spam legislation (taking effect tomorrow) is something you’ll want to become familiar with. Companies who knowingly mislead recipients with false sender information could be looking at pricey fines in the millions and even criminal charges.

The consent to send emails can basically be divided into the 3 categories outlined below.

1. Does not require consent. This is the case if:

  • The recipient requested a quote or estimate.
  • The email relates to an existing transaction.
  • The email provides information in regards to something the recipient purchased (ie. warranty, recall or safety).
  • The email is part of an on-going subscription, membership or account and notifies the recipient of factual information (i.e., privacy update, membership changes).
  • The email provides employment information.
  • The sender has a personal or family relationship with the recipient.
  • The recipient has been referred by an individual with an existing relationship to the sender and recipient (message must disclose the full name of the referrer and state that the message was sent as a result of the referral).

2. Has implied consent. This is the case if:

a. There is an existing business relationship between the sender and receiver, e.g.:

  • The recipient has purchased or leased a product, good or service within the last 2 years.
  • The recipient has made an inquiry in the past 6 months.

b. The recipient has conspicuously disclosed their contact information without indicating that they do not want communications and the message must be relevant to the recipient’’s business role.

c. There is an existing non-business relationship between the sender and the recipient (ie. donation, gift, membership in a club, volunteer activity within the past 2 years)

3. Required express consent. When asking for consent, the sender must disclose:

  • The purpose(s) for which the consent is being sought.
  • Information identifying the person seeking consent.

Regardless of which category an email falls into, the following information must be clearly included within the message:

  1. The name of the person or company on whose behalf the message is being sent.
  2. Contact information for the sender including a valid mailing address and a phone number or email address that will be active for a minimum of 60 days after the message has been sent.
  3. Ability to unsubscribe through a link or return email and the unsubscribe must take effect within 10 days.

If you think your company email program may be impacted by Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, be sure to check with your email service provider for more information on the laws and what your company can do to be prepared for the changes.

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