Keeping An Eye On Canada's Tough Anti-Spam Law

Author:Ms Cynthia Larose
Profession:Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

North American marketers take note: Canada is set to finalize one of the toughest anti-spam laws in the world. Canada had fallen behind when it came to introducing anti-spam legislation, but it is now making up for lost time. Ottawa's new Bill C-28 – known as "CASL" and expected to be finalized early in 2013 — has severe fines for violations and is viewed by many as too tough.

In a nutshell, CASL requires a business to obtain express or implied consent from the recipient before it sends out commercial electronic messages. CASL is not limited to email; consent must be given for any electronic message, which could also include messages sent via social media, text messaging, instant messaging, sound or video.

It applies to all messages sent from, or received in, Canada, which means American firms marketing in Canada fall under its jurisdiction. A recent study found 60 per cent of American marketing executives were completely unaware of the new law.

Individuals who breach the law can face penalties of up to $1 million,...

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