Canada Anti-Spam Law
What does the law mean?
The Canadian Anti-Spam law will go into effect on July 1, 2014, however there is a three-year transition period which allows you to take steps to ensure you are compliant under the law. This law is meant to protect individuals from spammers and will fine spammers anywhere from $1-10M per violation. The CASL regulations apply to any “Commercial Electronic Message” (CEM) that is sent from or to Canadian computers and devices in Canada.
Exempt Messages include:
- Messages to family or a person with an established personal relationship
- Messages to an employee, consultant, or person associated with your business
- Responses to a current customer, or someone who has inquired in the last six months.
- Messages that will be opened or accessed in a foreign country, including the U.S., China, and most of Europe.
- Messages sent on behalf of a charity or political organization for the purposes of raising funds or soliciting contributions.
- Messages attempting to enforce legal right or court order.
- Messages that provide warranty, recall, safety, or security information about a product or service purchased by the recipient.
- Messages that provide information about a purchase, subscription, membership, account, loan, or other ongoing relationship, including delivery of product updates or upgrades
- A single message to a recipient without an existing relationship on the basis of a referral. The name of the referring person must be disclosed in the message. The referrer may be family or have another relationship with the person to whom you’re sending.
The law defines two types of consent: implied and express. Implied consent is a looser interpretation, whereas express requires action from both sender and recipient.
Implied Consent includes:
- A recipient has purchased a product, service or made another business deal. Has a contract or membership with your organization in the last 24 months.
- You are a registered charity or political organization, and the recipient has made a donation or gift, has volunteered, or attended a meeting organized by you
- A professional message is sent to someone whose email address was given to you, or is conspicuously published, and who hasn’t published or told you that they don’t want unsolicited messages.
Express Consent includes:
- A clear and concise description of your purpose in obtaining consent
- A description of messages you’ll be sending
- Requestor’s name and contact information ( physical mailing address and telephone number, email address, or website URL)
- A statement that the recipient may unsubscribe from at any time.
What EZFacility has done so far:
Effective today, facilities can no longer remove the ‘opt out’ feature from email campaigns. All email campaigns permanently include the ability for clients to opt out of receiving emails.
What we are working on next:
We are creating a formal email verification system. Once completed all new and existing email addresses will be sent a ‘request for verification’. This means they will have to click a link to agree to continue to receiving email campaigns from the facility. The email verification system will not only make us compliant with the Canadian Anti-Spam laws, but will also allow us to implement an existing industry best practice.
What actions should you take?
You should go through your client list, and remove/delete any client email addresses that are no longer affiliated with your business.
You should also go to our Client Audit page and review ALL email addresses and correct/remove any that are incorrect or invalid. Otherwise, invalid email addresses will eventually be removed from our system.
To view the CASL law in full please go to http://lawslois.justice.gc.ca/eng/annualstatutes/2010_23/FullText.html
In addition, this is a very helpful article on CASL from MailChimp http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/about-the-canada-anti-spam-law-casl/