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Look North, Marketers – Canadian Anti-Spam Law is Coming

The US CAN-SPAM Act is old hat for marketers in the US.    But it is time to revisit email marketing compliance programs if you send email north of the US border.  Canada’s anti-spam law (known as “CASL”) has been debated for years but is finally coming into effect.   Industry Canada released its final regulations on December 4, 2013 and CASL will come into force on July 1, 2014.

There are some very important differences between CAN-SPAM and CASL and CASL’s sweep is very broad.     The biggest difference:  CASL imposes an “opt-in” scheme — express consent must be given by the recipient of the commercial electronic message.  Consent cannot be implied or “read in” and recipients must take action to express consent.   Prefilled “tick boxes” giving “permission” to send marketing emails will not be compliant.

Because of the major “opt-in” requirement versus the standard operating procedure of “opt-in,”  organizations will want to get a head start on compliance with CASL.  One suggestion: consider obtaining express consent from those persons currently on your marketing lists. Sending e-mails to such people after CASL is in force may violate its provisions if the commercial electronic message is not exempt (limited exemptions), or the recipients have not provided implied consent.

©1994-2022 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 22
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About this Author

Cynthia Larose, Privacy, Security, Attorney, Mintz Levin, Law Firm, electronic transactions lawyer
Member / Chair, Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice

Cynthia is a highly regarded authority in the privacy and security field and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP). She handles the full range of data security issues for companies of all sizes, from start-ups to major corporations. Cynthia is masterful at conducting privacy audits; crafting procedures to protect data; advising clients on state, federal, and international laws and regulations on information use and data security; helping organizations respond to breaches; and planning data transfers associated with corporate transactions. She is an in-...

617-348-1732
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