The countdown to CASL is on: on July 1, 2014, the anti-spam
Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation ("CASL") take
effect. Individuals and organizations it affects now have less than
three months to create, implement or update their CASL compliance
Take our 10 question quiz to find out if CASL affects any of
your electronic communications or those of your organization. If it
does, it's time to act now.
THE CASL "SPAMMER" QUIZ
CASL is coming soon – so you need to find out now whether
it affects you or your organization. Answer "Yes" or
"No" to each of the following 10 questions for yourself
or for your organization:
I use e-mail to solicit donations or sponsorships – but
only to fundraise for charities, or for political
I use e-mail to send customers newsletters – but they
provide information about my products/services, and don't ask
them to contact me.
I only send emails to customers/contacts who asked me to, and
they can e-mail me if they want me to stop sending them.
In my business, I rely on referrals and contact prospects via
All of the customers/contacts that I e-mail are
businesses or business people – not individual
I do one (or more) of these things, but I use instant
messaging, text messaging, social media or web forums – not
I use a third party company to communicate by email with
my customers/contacts on my behalf.
I communicate directly with my customers/contacts by email,
instant messaging, text messaging, social media or web forums
– I don't use a third party company to do it on my
I purchase electronic mailing lists from third parties; the
people on the lists know their e-mail information could be given to
I use "closed systems" like LinkedIn to reach out to
THE SCORE: ARE YOU A CASL "SPAMMER"?
It's easy to sit back and believe CASL is
targeted at "spammers" – big companies that bombard
us with electronic information that we often don't want –
but if you answered "yes" to even one of these 10
questions, then CASL affects you and/or your
What. CASL will apply to just about every form
of "commercial electronic message" (CEM) – which
CASL defines broadly.
Who. It will apply to just about every
business – from sole proprietors and independent contractors,
to multinational corporations – and every person sending
Where. It applies to all CEMs sent to, from or
When. CASL takes effect on July1, 2014; every
CEM sent on or after July 1st must comply.
Why. The final version of CASL does
protect consumers against organizations in the business of
compiling and selling email lists – but it also encompasses
all CEM senders. CASL will move Canada from an "opt-out"
to an "opt-in" regime for all electronic-based marketing:
with few exceptions, if a person/organization wants to send a CEM
within or into Canada, it needs the recipient's prior
The "hype" surrounding the implementation of CASL is
reminiscent of that which surrounded PIPEDA (Personal
Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) -
but CASL will have significant consequences for individuals and
organizations that don't comply:
Monetary Penalties of up to $1M on
individuals and $10M on other entities for a CASL
Potential Liability of employers for
certain employee violations, and personally for corporate directors
and officers for a corporation's violation
Criminal charge of obstruction of a CASL
Private Right of Action for a person or
corporation affected by a CASL contravention effective July1,
If CASL affects you or your organization, it's time to
Audit. Determine whether your current
Revise. If they don't comply, determine
what changes you must make – and make them.
Act Now. An electronic message asking for
consent to a CEM is itself a CEM – so ask early.
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