The CRTC has issued its first notice of violation under CASL and
it carries a substantial penalty. Quebec based Compu-Finder
could pay an administrative monetary penalty of $1.1 million for
four violations of Canada's Anti-Spam Law.
CASL prohibits parties from sending commercial electronic
messages (including e-mails) unless the recipient of the message
has given express consent or the message falls into one of the
exceptions in CASL. CASL also requires that all commercial
electronic messages identify the sender, include the sender's
contact information and provide an unsubscribe mechanism.
This law came into force July 1, 2014 and there was a flurry of
activity at that time by businesses attempting to come into
compliance. However, since that time, there has been little
news from the CRTC, with only one investigation published to date
(and which did not result in any monetary penalties). The CRTC
investigation alleges Compu-Finder sent e-mails to businesses
without their consent and which did not offer a functional
unsubscribe mechanism. The Compu-Finder e-mails promoted corporate
training courses for businesses, often for topics such as
management, social media and professional development.
The alleged violations occurred between July 2, 2014 and
September 16, 2014. Compu-Finder was flagged for investigation
because it accounted for more than one-quarter of the spam
complaints received at the Spam Reporting Centre related to
Compu-Finder has 30 days to contest the ruling or pay the $1.1
million. It can also request an undertaking with the CRTC to avoid
the financial penalties. This case represents the first time the
CRTC has sought to impose a financial penalty under CASL.
"Compu-Finder flagrantly violated the basic principles of
the law by continuing to send unsolicited commercial electronic
messages after the law came into force," said Chief Compliance
and Enforcement Officer, Manon Bombardier. "Complaints
submitted to the Spam Reporting Centre clearly indicate that
consumers didn't find Compu-Finder's offerings relevant to
Miller Thomson has developed a comprehensive CASL compliance
program and can provide a wide spectrum of CASL compliance services
for your organization from which to choose. We can also
assist in the event that your organization is subject to a CRTC
investigation or administrative penalty. Please do not
hesitate to contact any member of our CASL team to help your
organization take the steps necessary to mitigate or prevent having
significant penalties such as this imposed against your
organization. We have members of our CASL compliance team
across Canada and can assist wherever your organization may be.
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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