Today we will look at unsubscribe features. (Please keep
in mind that there are many details not included in this overview
and that, like most things in life, the specific needs depend on
the specific facts.)
If an e‑mail recipient clicks "unsubscribe",
does that "unsubscribe" apply to all CEMs from the
association or only the category of CEMs the
"unsubscribe" was selected for, e.g., payment
reminders? If a member/donor clicks "unsubscribe",
does that apply to all CEMs from the association?
CASL requires a recipient to be able to unsubscribe from
receiving all CEMs from a sender. If an association's
unsubscribe mechanism simply allows a recipient to unsubscribe,
that would need to apply to all CEMs sent by the association.
However, CASL does not prohibit the association from creating a
preference centre whereby the recipient can choose which categories
of CEMs it wants to receive or no longer wants to receive.
For example, the unsubscribe mechanism can bring the recipient to a
webpage where they can choose among a list of CEMs (e.g.,
membership events, program info, fundraising) and indicate whether
they wish to unsubscribe from all CEMs, or a subset of them.
If a recipient unsubscribes, can consent ever be
"renewed" through an exemption, or must the recipient
give express consent?
The CRTC has indicated (in the CASL Regulatory Impact Analysis
Statement, available at http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/00271.html)
that implied consent due to an existing business relationship is
reinstated with every new or subsequent transaction that would
qualify for that exemption. This means that if a donor
unsubscribes, but then subsequently donates to the association
again, the association would have implied consent to send CEMs
based on that subsequent donation (assuming that the CRTC's
statement applies to the existing non‑business
relationship). There is some uncertainty about this topic,
however, because CASL does not specify how an unsubscribe request
may be overridden. It would be prudent to obtain express
consent before sending a recipient CEMs.
There are many nuances to CASL and its application. We
have a team of experts at BLG and would be happy to assist with an
audit of your organization's CASL processes and policies.
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