The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) has revised and finalized the Electronic Commerce Protection
Regulations which will take effect when Canada's new Anti-Spam
Legislation (CASL) comes into force. The revised regulations
provide the detailed disclosure requirements for commercial
electronic messages (CEMs), or requests to send such messages.
Fortunately, the revised regulations address many of the concerns
first raised by industry members when the CRTC published its draft
regulations in 2011.
When CASL comes into force, CEMs will be required to disclose
the name under which the sender of the message carries on business.
If the message is sent on behalf of a third party, it will be
necessary to identify that party as well, and indicate which party
sent the message, and on whose behalf it was sent.
The revised regulations create a much less onerous requirement
to disclose contact information for the sender than the draft
regulations would have. The revised regulations will require CEMs
to include the following contact information for either the sender
of the message or the person on whose behalf it was sent: (i) a
mailing address; and (ii) a telephone number providing access to a
person or a voice messaging system, an email address, or a
web address. In contrast, the previously proposed draft regulations
would have required CEMs to include each of these contact methods,
for both the sender of the message and, if applicable, the
person on whose behalf it was sent. All CEMs will be required to
contain an unsubscribe mechanism that may be "readily
performed," moving away from a requirement based on the number
of "clicks" it would take to unsubscribe.
Parallel changes to the requirements will apply when request for
consent to send a CEM is solicited, which may be done orally or in
writing. A request for consent will be required to identify the
purposes for which consent is sought, and the name under which the
person seeking consent carries on business. If applicable, the
request must include the name under which the person on whose
behalf consent is sought carries on business, and indicate which
person is seeking the consent and on whose behalf it is sought. The
request will be required to include the same contact information
required in a CEM in respect of one of these persons.
A request for consent to send CEMs will be required to indicate
that consent may be withdrawn.
Overall, the revised CRTC regulations address many of the
concerns raised by industry participants during the consultation
period. Industry Canada is currently revising a second set of
regulations under CASL, which will address consent sought on behalf
of a third party whose identity is not known, as would be done by
third-party mailing list suppliers. No coming into force date for
CASL has been announced; however, the law is expected to take
effect in 2012.
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