There are a few other important facts that need to be covered under Bill C-28, items that are important to keep your email mailing list compliant under the new Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL).
Any email list that currently conforms to PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), will not conform to CASL due to insufficient opt-in consents. As of July 1st, 2014 you must have the name, email address, date and time that the user has opted-in on your email list. This proof is necessary in case anyone lodges a complaint to the CRTC. In most cases, you will have to get everyone on your email list to opt-in again. If you are maintaining a manual list, you will have to keep every email that people send saying yes to adding them to your email list. If you are using a program such as Mailchimp, when someone fills in the form you create, let’s say “Subscribe to my Newsletter Mailing List”, when they fill out and submit the form, Mailchimp automatically records the date and time they opted-in.
It will also be critical to keep your email mailing list up-to-date at all times after July 1st, 2014.
“Organizations that maintain e-mail contact lists will need to remove names from the list at the 2 year-post transaction or 6 month post-inquiry point, unless express consent has also been obtained from recipients.”1
There will be a 3 year transition period for any communications that fall under the implied consent portion of the law, but it is best to just get your list in order as soon as possible. This all means that if you did business with an individual or company, after 6 months if they were not interested in your commercial activies you must remove them from your list. If you did business with them and 2 years go by with no other business interactions, you must remove them from your list. Only if they provide consent to stay on your list, will you be able to do so.
One other reason to get your email mailing list in order before July 1st, 2014, is that sending everyone an email after this time to opt-in may violate the new law. If this is the case, you would be forced to delete your entire list and start over.
All of the items above are very crucial and should not be taken lightly. If you are in the process of setting up a monthly newsletter or any other kind of list for commercial purposes, conform to the law now. It will make it a lot easier on yourself. If you have a current list, you better start thinking about getting consent from everyone on your list.
Up next Penalties (PART 5)
1 Sharon E. Groom, McMillan LLP