Canada’s New Anti-Spam Laws, Are You Prepared?

Have you ever found yourself working during a busy day thinking “Gee, I really wish the government was more involved in my everyday operations as a business”?

Well, if that was you, today is your lucky day!

As of July 1st 2014, a new law from the Government of Canada will come in to affect as a way to prevent spam emails from being sent.  The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will require consent (implied or expressed) from all recipients before a commercial email can be sent to them.  Mass emails to a mailing list will also require a mechanism for unsubscribing as well as the sender’s contact information.

Pre-existing business relationships will not be affected but contacting new potential customers may be made more difficult.  Unless an email is publically listed on their website or a customer has contacted you directly first, consent must be acquired via email before any commercial messages can be sent.  In terms of a contact list you may already have, you can continue to send promotional messages to them for the next 3 years while the law is phased in.  After this point however, you will be required to get consent from each individual before any further promotional messages can be sent.

The easiest way to stay out of trouble going forward is to ask for consent whenever possible and establish a mindset that is anti-spam.

Individual violators can be fined up to $1 million and corporations up to $10 million. Connect with your employees on the provisions of this law and make sure the consequences for violations are understood.

You may need to reconsider some of your company’s marketing practices but in the long run it is always better to be safe, and it’s certainly better than paying millions of dollars in fines.
More information can be found at the website for Government of Canada: http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home.

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