CASL: How to prepare my business for Canada’s New Anti-Spam Legislation
Canada’s Anti SPAM Legislation
How will CASL affect my business and what
should I be doing about it today?
1. Overview of CASL
3. Review “Business Checklist for CASL”
What is Spam?
Spam can be defined as any electronic
commercial message sent without the express
consent of the recipient(s).
Other online threats such as spyware, phishing
What is CASL?
Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) was drafted to keep unsolicited,
unwanted electronic messages out of Canadians’ in-boxes while
still permitting businesses, and consumers, to maintain mutually
beneficial relationships. (Deloitte)
The Anti-Spam Act imposes significant restrictions on the
sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages or CEM’s.
Law was passed in December 2010
In effect: July 1st 2014
Who will police it?
The Spam Police
• The office of the privacy commissioner.
• Competition Bureau.
Spam Reporting Centre
Consumers, businesses and other organizations will be able to
report the following messages on July 1, 2014:
• commercial electronic messages sent without consent;
• commercial electronic messages with false
or misleading content
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) generally
• sending CEMs to an electronic address without consent
= No SPAM;
• altering transmission data in an electronic message
= No Phishing;
• installing a computer program on a person's computer
= No Malicious software;
• causing a program on a person's computer system to
send an electronic message.
What’s the difference?
CASL vs. CAN-SPAM
• Addresses broad range of
• Applies to all forms of
electronic messaging (email,
SMS, IM etc.).
• Prior permission based, or
• Addresses spam only.
• Applies only to email.
• Opt-out; you can mail.
What is a CEM?
What is a commercial electronic message or
A commercial electronic message is any electronic message that
encourages participation in a commercial activity, regardless of
whether there is an expectation of profit.
Email, SMS Texts, instant messages and social network messages
(Twitter, Facebook) are all electronic messages.
What is exempt from CEM?
Even if a message is a CEM, you will not need
– Send a quotation upon request.
– Complete a transaction.
– Provide warranty, recall or safety information.
In all of these cases you must still include the prescribed
information & an unsubscribe mechanism.
What information do I now have to
• CEM’s can be sent if:
You have the express or implied consent of the
recipient, or if consent is not required under CASL.
and the message:
- Identifies the sender
- Includes the required contact information; and
- Includes an unsubscribe mechanism
What is consent?
After July 1st, 2014:
You can’t send a CEM without consent from the
2 forms of consent: Express and Implied
What is Express Consent?
Express, meaning someone actively gave you permission to
send them a CEM.
Once you have that permission, you can keep reaching out
to your lists through email, texting, and social media
Express Consent can be in the form of:
• Sign‐up on a website
• Response to a contest or coupon offer
• Sign‐up at point of sale
• Sign‐up over the phone
• Express consent has no time limit, it does not
expire. At least until they unsubscribe.
• Acquire express consent from your contacts
What is Implied Consent?
Implied, meaning it would be reasonable to conclude
you have someone’s permission to send them a CEM
based on prior relationships.
If a recipient has purchased goods or services, or signed
a contract with a business, they’ve given their implied
consent to be in contact with that business.
A Family relationship
A personal relationship
A business or non business relationship
• “Two Year Rule” that essentially lets an organization
send emails to someone if they made a purchase or
signed a contract within the last two years.
• Have accurate records for the exact date of a
customer’s last purchase or contract.
• The CASL transition rule that gives you 3 years
for implied consent.
Why am I telling you this now?
Once CASL comes into force (July 1st , 2014), you
can’t send an electronic message requesting consent
because it will be considered a CEM.
NOW IS THE TIME TO OBTAIN EXPRESS CONSENT!
Make sure you keep records. The onus is on you.
• Penalties for non-compliance up to $1 million
for individuals, and $10 million for businesses
• With statutory damages of up to $200 for
each violation of the prohibition.
• Just one email or text can count as a violation.
SCENARIO 1: A customer purchases a product
from your online store. During the checkout
process, the customer provides his or her
email address for the purposes of obtaining an
e-receipt. Can you add this customer to your
• Yes, implied consent.
• Business relationship.
• Think about express consent.
SCENARIO 2: You are attending a trade show
and meet a prospective customer who gives you
their business card. Can you add this customer
to your marketing list?
• Yes, implied consent if they agree.
• Content related to business role.
• No, if they advised you not to send CEM’s.
Scenario 3: If a business contact publishes or
discloses an email address on their website can I
• Yes, implied consent if the business contacted
has published or disclosed an email address.
• No, if they have disclosed that they do not
wish to receive unsolicited commercial
What can I do now to prepare for
Please refer to handout/Link:
Business Checklist for CASL Compliance: Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.
How to prepare for Canada’s New Anti-Spam
• Business Awareness.
• CEM Inventory and Review.
• Know your exemptions.
• Consent Reconfirm and Track.
What can I do now to prepare for
• Database Review.
• Process Review.
For additional information here are some sources that we have reviewed to educate
ourselves on the new law:
Government of Canada – Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation
What Canada’s new anti-spam law means to you – Deloitte
CASL: What you need to know about Canada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation – Retail
Council of Canada
Anti-Spam 101: Risks and Implications for business – FMC Law
Bennett Jones Anti Spam Learning Centre
Get Ready for Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law – Blakes
CASL: Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation – A Checklist – Constant Contact
Bill C-28 – Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Readiness Checklist – InBox
Getting Ready for Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation – Davis
The current state of CASL – itbusiness.ca
How To Prepare For CASL – Elite Email