The guessing game is over. Three years after it was
enacted, we now know that Canada's anti-spam law (CASL) will
come into force in stages over the next four years, beginning on
July 1, 2014.
The Department of Industry announced the following key dates
when it published long-awaited Governor in Council
regulations on December 4, 2013:
July 1, 2014 – Most of CASL and the
final Regulations come into force
January 15, 2015 – Provisions of CASL
related to the installation of computer programs come into
July 1, 2017 – Provisions of CASL
related to a private right of action will come into force
Those who have been following the progress of the legislation
will be relieved to learn that Industry Canada has made a number of
important changes that address some of the concerns raised by
industry since the draft regulations were published last
January. Examples are expanding the exemption for
business-to-business communications and adding new exemptions for
certain categories of messaging platforms.
However, most industry participants will likely view the changes
as not going far enough to overcome what some commentators have
described as "red tape" impediments on doing business.
CASL regulates more activities and is more prescriptive about
what businesses need to do, compared with spam or spyware laws
in other jurisdictions. Critics have pointed out that it will
impose significant costs on small and large businesses, harm
innovation and productivity, and place Canadian businesses at a
More pressing for businesses, however, is to get compliance
planning into high gear. With less than seven months until
most of the law comes into force, virtually all businesses will
need to make changes to their operational practices. For a
practical summary of where to begin, refer to Our Top 10 Compliance Planning
Further commentary on the regulations and updated summaries of
what CASL means for businesses will be added to our
CASL Compliance webpage over the coming days.
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.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).