Earlier this month, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer issued a Notice of Violation and $1.1 million penalty to Compu-Finder for four violations of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. Although Compu-Finder was apparently engaged in “flagrant” CASL violations, according to the Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, the CRTC also confirmed that it is assessing CASL complaints and that “a number of investigations are currently underway.” Therefore, organizations engaging with individuals located in Canada should review their communications and marketing practices for compliance under CASL and other applicable law.
Canada’s new anti-spam law was passed in December 2010, and certain provisions will become effective 1 July 2014 — including new consent requirements for e-mails and certain other electronic messages. As of 1 July 2014, an organization must have consent to send commercial electronic messages to an email account, telephone account or instant messaging account. In addition, CEMs must include certain identification information and an unsubscribe mechanism. The law applies to messages whenever a computer system located in Canada is used to send or access the CEM. Certain exemptions and transition periods also apply.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today issued two Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletins which attempt to clarify some of the issues surrounding obtaining express consent, the information to be included in commercial electronic messages and unsubscribe mechanisms.