Is Your Business CASL Compliant?


Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation has been in place since July 2013, but many businesses are still not 100% confident if their teams are following the rules. With the end of the 36 month compliance prior coming to an end, it may be a good idea to meet with your teams and ensure everyone is aware of the requirements. Below is a quick F.A.Q on the rules.

What is CASL? CASL is directed at commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and it includes a very wide range of activities including:

  • unsolicited commercial messages such as emails, texts and tweets;

  • hacking, malware and spyware;

  • “phishing” and other fraudulent or misleading practices;

  • invading privacy through a computer; and

  • collecting email addresses without consent.

What is Consent? Consent is probably the most important part of CASL which your business needs to be aware of. The Act creates a permission-based rule which states that consent is required before any CEM can be sent. Consent can be either express or implied.

  • Express Consent – someone has voluntarily agreed to receive a CEM’s and this consent is documented. Consent can be either spoken or in writing, and “in writing” includes both paper and electronic forms of writing.

  • Implied Consent – generally lasts for 24 months, providing an opportunity for organizations to change an implied consent to an express consent. CASL includes a transition period that allows for implied consent to remain active until July 1, 2017. If there is an existing business relationship, each transaction renews the implied consent, so that the two-year existing business relationship starts over.

What is Unsubscribe? Another important part to mention is that there must be an option for a your customer to unsubscribe to your CEM’s. This option must be easily visible and free of charge. This includes any messages sent out by SMS texting, as well as email, instant message etc.

Starting July 1st 2017, businesses must be able to provide proof of compliance to CASL regulation and can face very tough fines if they are found to be non-compliant. Be sure that your email list is kept current and that you will be able to show evidence of Express or Implied consent should an issue ever arise.

More information can be found at http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home

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