Canada’s Anti-spam Legislation (CASL), which regulates the sending of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and requires entities that distribute them to obtain prior consent, came into force on July 1, 2014. While many aspects of CASL have been in effect for years, key provisions—including the private right of action (PRA)—will be imposed beginning July 1, 2017.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Essentially, PRA allows individuals and enterprises to file a lawsuit in court if they feel they have been affected by a violation of CASL. PRA also opens the door for anti-spam class action lawsuits, with maximum damages capped at $1 million per day. PRA violations can be costly for organizations, and monetary penalties can occur if a business does any of the following:
- Sends CEMs that violate CASL ($200 per breach and up to a maximum of $1 million for each day noncompliant conduct occurred)
- Alters the transmission data of a CEM (a maximum of $1 million for each day noncompliant conduct occurred)
- Installs apps or other computer programs that violate CASL (a maximum of $1 million for each day noncompliant conduct occurred)
- Scrapes, generates or accesses electronic addresses in violation of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) (a maximum of $1 million for each day noncompliant conduct occurred)
What Should You Do?
If your online marketing practices fall within the CASL guidelines, you have nothing to worry about. To be sure, review the CASL guidelines here, making any changes you need in order to be in compliance.
If you want a quick refresher of CASL, watch this: