A new law, Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), has been in effect since the 1st of July 2014. This law is in place in order to bar businesses from sending you commercial electronic messages (CEMs) without having received your consent beforehand. 

What could be considered a CEM?

A commercial electronic message can come in different shapes and forms, for example a purchase, sale, service or lease offer. A mere promotion contained in the signature of an e-mail would make it a CEM. CEMs can be emails, but also texting (SMS) or instant messages on similar platforms. 

What are the consequences of not respecting this law? 

Businesses, as well as their employees, can be held responsible in the event of not having perceived the consent of the recipient of a CEM. 

The business from which the CEM was sent can be fined. The amount of these fines can be very important, so you should not take the law lightly.

What about the CEM you already receive regularly in your inbox? 

Businesses which have been sending you CEMs prior to the coming into force of the Law can benefit of a three-year period, in which your tacit consent is supposed. However, these businesses will have to obtain your explicit consent within these three years, before the 1st of July 2017, in order to be able to continue to send you CEMs. 

How to proceed if you are a business that expedites CEM? 

To prevent your electronic messages from being considered spam, first of all, you must have the consent of your recipient. Secondly, you must identify your business clearly as the sender of the messages. Finally, you need to include an unsubscribing option in your CEMs.