Bill C-28 – Canada’s Anti-spam Law (PART 5) – Penalties

Bill C-28 – Canada’s Anti-spam Law (PART 5) – Penalties

In case you care to brushoff the new Anti-spam Law, taking a look at the penalties involved might make you think otherwise. The CRTC is the main regulatory body that is in charge of enforcing this new law, the regulatory body that will be receiving complaints to act upon.  The CRTC also has been given numerous powers, including the ability to serve telecommunications providers for the preservation of data for their investigation.

All penalties are monetary as they are meant to enforce the new law, not to punish.

The following factors are taken into consideration when determining the amount of the penalty:1

  • the purpose of the penalty;
  • the nature and scope of the violation;
  • the person’s history with respect to any previous violation under this Act
  • the person’s history with respect to any previous undertaking
  • any financial benefit that the person obtained from the commission of the violation;
  • the person’s ability to pay the penalty;
  • whether the person has voluntarily paid compensation to a person affected by the violation;

The maximum penalty for an individual is $1,000,000 per violation and for a business $10,000,000 per violation. These penalties should not be taken lightly.

In order to not worry about such penalties above, it is in your best interest to understand this new law and conform to it. Make sure you get people to opt-in on your mailing list now, and keep proof they opted-in. Make sure you do not send out a “commercial message” unless it conforms to all the rules of implied or express consent.

Government laws may seem like a pain, and an even bigger pain to read and fully understand, but you must not brush them off. Sending an electronic message soliciting any kind of business may violate the new law. It only takes one complaint to the CRTC before the legal mess begins.

Up next: Other Details (PART 6)

1Government of Canada http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/page-8.html#h-12

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