This blog was written with the assistance of Olamide Pedro, student-at-law.
Many organizations have increased their online operations in the past few years in response to COVID-19. Online operations are often critical to your ongoing success, but you may face legal risks if you are not compliant with applicable laws.
In this blog, we'll provide a brief overview of five key questions and offer resources to help you avoid unexpected risks.
To learn more about privacy policies, check out this blog.
3. Are you CASL compliant?
Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is among the world's strictest laws about electronically contacting users for commercial purposes.
Electronic communications can be a great way for you to drive more engagement and sales. However, before sending out any promotional emails, it's imperative that you meet CASL's requirements. CASL requires you to obtain consent before sending commercial emails and other electronic messages to your customers. You must also include certain content, such as the option to unsubscribe, in your electronic communications. CASL complaints and investigations are common, with roughly 6,000 complaints made to the CRTC (the agency responsible for enforcing CASL) per week. Significant fines have also been levied against people who have flouted CASL rules, with enforcement actions resulting in more than $1.9 million payable in penalties since CASL came into force.
When users are accessing your website, you have a golden opportunity to obtain their consent to receive marketing and other communications from you, but it is important to set this up correctly. If you're interested in learning more about how to comply with CASL, check out this blog, which includes a link to download our complimentary CASL Compliance Guide and Checklist.
4. Do you meet the consumer protection requirements?
Consumer protection legislation in Canada generally applies when you are providing goods or services to an individual for non-business purposes. The terms and conditions of your online operations and any resulting contracts must comply with any applicable provisions of the consumer protection laws in your jurisdiction (this can include certain disclosure requirements in your contracts as well as cancellation rights). Legal counsel can help you determine what consumer protection laws apply to your online operations and review your agreements to confirm they are compliant.
5. Are you protecting your online operations and information?
Taking cybersecurity seriously to protect your organization and your users is extremely important. Failing to do so can lead to significant financial and reputational consequences. The best way to minimize your risk is to be diligent and do the preventative work up front. This can save you significant time and resources later on. Our team has published a number of cybersecurity resources. Learn more on our Privacy, Data Protection & Cybersecurity page.
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.