In the first five posts on Bill C-28 I have covered an overview of the upcoming law, consent, exemptions, other important facts, and penalties. I will continue with other details and further expansion on some points from earlier posts.
Commercial Electronic Message
The basic principle of the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL) states you are not allowed to send a “commercial electronic message” to anyone unless they have provided consent to receive it. Of course there are exemptions which were discussed in part 3 of the series. Also, the definitions of electronic message and commercial are very broad under the law. The voice part of electronic message is already covered under the Do Not Call rules. Commercial is defined as; any offer to transact any product or service or an interest in land, offer an economic opportunity (including gambling) or to promote any of these activities.
Further to part 2 of the blog series on implied consent. In some cases where a previous relationship exists, implied consent will be granted. Some cases include the exchange of business cards, verbal requests in person or over the phone, fishbowl collections where consent was not asked, and signup forms where no consent was asked. In these and similar cases, you will have a period of two years to get express consent from the individual, which means they will have to opt-in on your mailing list within two years or else you have to remove them. Failure to remove means you are in violation of the law.
One interesting part of the CASL involves warrants. If the CRTC has just cause to come on your premises to verify if you are violating the law, they can obtain a warrant from a justice of the peace. This warrant is pretty sweeping as they can examine anything on location, use any computer system, copy any document, prohibit or limit access to the premises, to name the most important facts.
Some further examples of exemptions are charities and political parties that do not sell a product, people who have made a donation in the last 18 months, performed volunteer work or were part of the organization in the last 18 months.
Most of the important items of CASL have been covered in all six parts of my series. Hopefully you have gained some insight and will research the topic further if you need more details in an area that might affect the way you email clients. It is best to be informed!