The Government of Canada announced today that most of
Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation ("CASL") will come
into force on July 1st, 2014. After that date, organizations
will either have to have the prior consent of intended recipients
of "commercial electronic messages", or ensure that the
messages being sent, or the recipients of those messages, are
exempt from the requirements to get consent.
As part of the announcement, the Government also published the
final version of the Electronic Commerce Protection
Regulations (link at: http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/h_00211.html
). Readers of this blog will recall
Bob Pakrul's blog post in January of this year
advising that those Regulations had been published for comment.
Numerous comments were received and many were
incorporated into the revised Regulations which were published
today. Some of the most important revisions to the
Regulations are as follows:
Expansion of Exclusions for Consent Requirements
The Regulations exclude commercial electronic messages from all
provisions of CASL if:
they are sent within an organization;
they are sent between organizations that already have a
relationship, if the message concerns the activities of the
organization to which the message was sent;
they are sent on platforms where identification and unsubscribe
information is conspicuously published and readily available to
users, and where duplication of an unsubscribe or identification
message would be repetitious;
they are sent and received within limited access secure and
confidential accounts (such as messages which a bank might send to
an account holder);
they are sent in response to a complaint, inquiry or
they are sent on behalf of registered charities for fundraising
they are sent on behalf of a political party or candidate and
have as their main purpose the solicitation of donations.
In an attempt to alleviate some of the impact on business
that might occur if all of CASL come into effect at once, the
Government has also delayed the implementation of two important
elements of the legislation. First, the provisions of CASL
which govern the installation of computer programs on a
person's computer system in the course of a commercial
activity without consent, are delayed until January 15, 2015.
Second, the coming into force of the provisions which give
individuals a right to sue an organization for a breach of CASL,
are delayed until July 1, 2017.
Organizations who have been putting off seeking consents which
would allow them to continue to send legitimate commercial
electronic messages to, for example, potential customers or
industry contacts, should be developing and implementing a consent
campaign in earnest, so that consents have been obtained prior to
July 1st of next year.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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