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HL Chronicle of Data Protection Privacy & Information Security News & Trends
Posted in International/EU Privacy

Canadian CRTC Issues Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletins

This blog entry was contributed by "guest blogger" Mark Hayes of Heydary Hayes PC in Toronto

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today issued two Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletins (CRTC 2012 – 548 and CRTC 2012 – 549) which attempt to clarify some of the issues surrounding obtaining express consent, the information to be included in commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and unsubscribe mechanisms. 

Some of the "highlights" include:

  • The CRTC has confirmed that "pre-checked" consent boxes will not be an acceptable means of obtaining express consent. Whatever mechanism is used to obtain express consent must involve the consumer making a positive indication of their consent, not merely neglecting to "opt out".
  • The CRTC has given some examples of the type of "readily performed" unsubscribe mechanism that will satisfy Section 3 of the Regulations. In general, such unsubscribe mechanisms must be clear and easy to use in whatever medium is being used to communicate with the consumer.
  • The CRTC has made it clear that "specific and separate consent" at be obtained for each of the acts listed in Sections 6 to 8 of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). As a result, a separate check box or icon must be provided for each different type of consent that is being obtained, and such consents cannot be combined with each other or included in a more general consent provided by the consumer.

We are still waiting for Industry Canada to circulate its most recent draft regulations, which do not appear to be imminent. While all indications still are that CASL will come into force sometime in 2013, no one at the CRTC or Industry Canada is willing to commit to any estimate of exactly when this might be.

If you have questions, contact Mark Hayes at mhayes@heydary.com