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Canada’s new anti-spam law

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There has been a lot of buzz going around regarding Canada’s new anti-spam law (CASL) that goes into effect July 1st and the implications it may have on your marketing efforts. Although it is similar to the CAN-SPAM Act, there are a few important things to be aware of.

Some similarities – both CASL and CAN-SPAM:

  • Are aimed at unsolicited online communications, and unfair/deceptive online practices
  • Require consent to send commercial electronic messages
  • Directly impact business communications with customers, prospective clients, and subscribers

Key differences – CASL has:

  • Reach outside Canada
    • Subject to certain regulatory exceptions, CASL expressly applies to messages “accessed from a computer system in Canada”: message can be sent from outside Canada
  • Higher standard for consent
    • Opt-in (CASL) versus Opt-out (CAN-SPAM)
  • Broader application
    • CASL also applies to installation of computer programs
  • Higher penalties
    • $10 million maximum penalty for CASL contravention

For more information, check out the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s site.

According to the site, there are really only 3 simple rules to follow when sending a CEM (commercial electronic message).

  1. Consent – You must have express or implied consent to send a message
  2. Identification – You must clearly and simply identify yourselves and anyone else on whose behalf the message is sent
  3. Unsubscribe Mechanism – In every message you send, you must provide a way for recipients to unsubscribe from receiving messages in the future

FireDrum is committed to making sure all of our clients are aware of the change and we are here to answer any questions you may have. If you have email contacts in Canada and are still unsure about how the new law may affect you, please contact Matt Ricca at matt@nullfiredrum.com.