The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) announced today that it has issued a
Notice of Violation to Quebec-based business Compu-Finder for four
alleged violations of Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL).
This is the first penalty issued by the CRTC under CASL, which
came into force just last year and regulates the sending of
commercial electronic messages and the installation of computer
programs. The CRTC investigation found that Compu-Finder did
not have consent to send commercial emails promoting various
management and professional development training courses to
businesses, and also that the unsubscribe mechanisms in the emails
did not function as required. Complaints against the
company account for over a quarter of all complaints
submitted to the CRTC's Spam Reporting Centre for this industry
In a statement, Manon Bombardier, Chief Compliance and
Enforcement Officer, CRTC, critiqued the company for
"flagrantly" violating the law and indicated
that by issuing this Notice of Violation "[his] goal is to
encourage a change of behaviour on the part of Compu-Finder such
that it adapts its business practices to the modern reality of
electronic commerce and the requirements of the anti-spam law. We
take violations to the law very seriously and expect businesses to
be in compliance."
The company has 30 days to submit written representations to the
CRTC or pay the penalty. The company also has the option to request
to enter into an undertaking with the CRTC, which may require the
company to pay monetary penalties and take corrective measures.
A previous CRTC compliance effort under CASL did not result
in penalties. In October 2014, the CRTC announced that it
had collaborated with a Saskatchewan-based
business to stop spam from being sent from its servers
that had been compromised and infected with malware. The
CRTC also indicated at that time that a number of other
investigations related to CASL compliance were underway. Additional
enforcement efforts may be on the horizon.
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