November 20, 2015 the CRTC announced that Rogers Media Inc had
paid $200,000 as part of an undertaking to resolve alleged
violations of Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL).
It was alleged that between the coming into force of CASL, in
July 2014, and through July 2015, Rogers sent commercial emails
containing an unsubscribe mechanism that could not be readily
performed by the recipient or did not function properly. As well it
was alleged that the address to which unsubscribe mechanisms were
sent was not maintained for the minimum required 60 days following
the sending of the message. Lastly, it was also alleged that Rogers
did not honour requests of some subscribers to unsubscribe from
future commercial messages with 10 business days.
The lessons from this case are that organizations need to pay
close attention to their unsubscribe processes and procedures.
These are technical matters but may result in enforcement action.
Key tips for compliance include:
There must be an unsubscribe mechanism on every commercial
messages that are subject to CASL,
The unsubscribe mechanism must be able to be readily
The unsubscribe mechanism must work,
The address to which unsubscribe requests are directed must
remain in force for 60 days from the sending of the message,
The sender must honour requests to unsubscribe from commercial
messages caught by CASL within 10 business days.
The CRTC's enforcement actions show a willingness to extract
substantial payments in undertakings for non-compliance with CASL.
Undertakings, including a commitment to improve compliance
programs, such as in this case, have been a common method of
seeking to respond to CRTC enforcement action.
Organizations facing enforcement action under CASL should take
such action seriously. Some preliminary guidance has been
identified earlier. For more information on how an organization can
respond to enforcement action under CASL, visit other blog posts in
the series "Defending Enforcement Under
Organizations should remember that due diligence remains a
defense to enforcement action under CASL. It is not too late to
build that compliance program. You may find some background at our
Anti-Spam Learning Centre.
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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