Canadian Anti-spam Law: What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

Well, we are now more than a week into the new Canadian Anti-spam Law (CASL) and many people remained as confused, or maybe more so, than before it came into effect.  So, let’s take a high-level look at the What You Don’t Know (or may not know):

CASL: What you don't know can hurt you,

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1.  CASL does not apply to personal or familial relationships.

2.  If you have a legal contract with the other party, you are exempt.

3.  Just because a person downloads a document from your website, does not mean that you have express consent to send email.

4.  Implied consent expires in six months if a prospect doesn’t become a client; and in two years if an existing client doesn’t buy something new or doesn’t renew their subscription, loan, account or contract. (source:  Deloitte)

5.  If recipients voluntarily disclose their email address, and don’t state that they don’t want to be emailed, you have consent.

6.  This law applies to companies outside of Canada.  If you are in the United States, the United Kingdom, or elsewhere, technically you are supposed to adhere to the new law. No one is quite sure how this will be enforced, but it is the law.

7. Think it only applies to email?  Think again.  Any electronic message with the purpose of performing a commercial function is subject to CASL. Of course there are exceptions, like BBM messaging and InMail.

8.  You can send email or other commercial electronic messages outside the country, but you are supposed to ensure that you comply with that countries laws.

9.  Even if you have express consent, you still need to add your mailing address, contact information and an unsubscribe in all email.  As soon as someone unsubscribes, you have lost express consent.  There are exceptions of course.  For example if you have a legal agreement, you can still communicate.

So, these are just nine things that some people don’t know about CASL.  We will continue to watch as CASL unfolds and people begin to challenge the process. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

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