CASL's Effect on Canadians

CASL's Effect on Canadians bb3 Dec 12, 2014

By Staff Writer

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On July 1, 2014, one of the most stringent laws in the world against commercial electronic messages went into effect: Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). Now both small businesses and consumers are starting to feel its effects. Learn how it may impact you.

CASL's Effect on Canadians

How does CASL affect small businesses?

A recent survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business showed that small businesses still have much to learn about CASL. Only 15 per cent are aware of CASL’s requirements, and 62 per cent haven’t taken steps to comply with the law.

If you use electronic channels, such as emails or texting, to market or advertise for a commercial business or organization, you need to follow these three rules to comply.

  1. You must have implied or express consent from the recipient. Learn the difference between the two.

  2. You must identify the sender or the name of the business. Electronic messages also must include an up-to-date mailing address and one or more of the following: a phone number, email address or web address.

  3. You must include an option for the recipient to unsubscribe.

Failure to comply with CASL could result in various penalties. Fines as high as $10 million can be issued to businesses and $1 million to individuals.

How does CASL affect consumers?

The new law is intended to help protect consumers from spam messages and their dangers, including identity theft and malware. The law also gives consumers more control over the messages they receive.

Despite the new guidelines for commercial electronic messages, CASL won’t stop all spam. The law applies only to messages sent to or from Canadian electronics by marketers — a small group of spam senders. CASL does allow political parties, candidates or organizations working on behalf of a political party to send commercial electronic messages if the intent is to solicit contributions.

If you’re receiving unwelcome spam, report it to the Spam Reporting Centre. Click here for more in-depth information about CASL from the Government of Canada.