No more solicitations for the newest jacket or latest gadget on the market. If you live in Canada, that is. 

Canadians just might have the toughest law in the world when it comes to regulating spam mail. The Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) signed into law in 2014, took full effect in July, prohibiting organizations from sending electronic messages to individuals without prior consent. Should you violate the Canada Anti-Spam law? Fines can reach as high as $200 per commercial electronic message (CEM), capping at $1 million per day. 

Understanding compliance is two-fold. First, a CEM, as defined by the law, is any message sent electronically, via email, social media or text, that encourages participation in a commercial activity. Secondly, organizations may only send CEMs to recipients that have given their express or implied consent. Express consent is when individuals have opted into your CEMs by providing their address to you. Implied consent is when you received their address because the individual made a purchase from you in the last two months or made an inquiry to you within the last six months. 

While the Canada Anti-Spam law went into full effect in July, the law’s Private Right of Action (PRA) clause has been indefinitely suspended. The PRA would have allowed individuals to take legal action against companies that sent them a CEM they didn’t want to receive, without proof of damages. 

Prepare now for the Canada Anti-Spam Law 

In today’s digital age, we believe more eyeballs and more clicks generate more business. But, is that true for your organization? Do your market research. If it’s not, then regular mass emails may be opening you up to unnecessary risk. 

The following best practices will help you maintain CASL compliance: 

  1. Update your marketing policies and procedures to make sure they’re in compliance.
  2. Clean out your databases and determine which email addresses have given you have express, implied or no consent. Make sure there’s an audit trail so that should your compliance be questioned, you’ll be able to back it up. Remember the burden of proof when it comes to consent lies with the sender of the message.
  3. Swiftly process unsubscribe requests and regularly audit your subscription list to ensure compliance.
  4. Have the right cyber insurance coverage in place. Should you even be suspected of being in violation of the Canada Anti-Spam Law , you’ll have to defend yourself and, if found, non-compliant you’ll face fines and penalties that could wipe you out without proper insurance.

Is your organization subject to the Canada Anti-Spam Law?

If your commercial or non-profit organization uses electronic channels to promote or market products and services within, from or to Canada, you’re subject to  the Canada Anti-Spam Law. The law does not apply to CEMs simply routed through Canada. Still not sure if the Canada Anti-Spam Law applies to your business? Check out this infographic

For more information on becoming CASL compliant and procuring the right coverage necessary to protect your organization, contact your HUB broker today.