Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has been a long time
coming. The Government of Canada announced today that most
of CASL's provisions will enter into force on July 1,
2014. That will be 10 years from the time the
Government of Canada launched its Anti-Spam Action Plan.
In recent years, a steadily increasing number
of organizations within and outside Canada have been
monitoring CASL's status. Among the reasons:
CASL is a new regime, contains a private right of
action, provides for significant administrative monetary
penalties (maximum $10 million), and is broader in scope than the
anti-spam laws of the US and other countries.
Some organizations have already begun to take steps and adopt
practices intended to allow them to comply with CASL.
As of today, with the publication of the long-awaited Industry
Canada Regulations, the CASL "rulebook" now includes the
following legislation, regulations and guidance
Affected organizations will be relying on certain limited
provisions under CASL to phase in requirements, intended to
allow businesses to get ready and to adjust to the new
regime. These include the 6-month "implementation
period" until July 1, 2017, and the 3-year "transitional
period" until July 1, 2017, during which existing business
relationships will be grandfathered, for consent
While the above provide a bit of breathing room, there is a
great deal to be done for organizations affected by CASL.
This may involve: auditing online communications processes,
contact lists, and database practices; updating forms and
procedures that document consent; updating customer service
processes; reviewing and updating contracts that deal with
third-party communications; and providing information and
training for employees, management and the Board of
organizations should proceed with their review and
compliance work as soon as possible.
We will be updating this blog regularly
with posts on compliance tips and new
developments. You may be interested in the Slideshare
presentation Comparing CASL to CAN-SPAM, which summarizes
how the Canadian and US anti-spam regimes differ, considering their
respective scope, standard of consent, application, and
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