Understanding Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) seeks to protect Canadians and Canadian businesses by creating a regulatory framework to combat spam and other electronic threats. It came into force July 1, 2014.

Industry Canada is the national coordinating body for CASL. Its role is to promote awareness of the law, to educate consumers, small businesses and other stakeholders, to coordinate work with the private sector and to conduct research. Industry Canada is responsible for the fightspam.gc.ca website (the website) and is committed to respecting the privacy rights of the individuals and organizations who visit the website and who provide information on potential violations of CASL.

The three agencies responsible for enforcing CASL are: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Competition Bureau (CB) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) (referred to here as the "Enforcement Agencies").

The law is applicable to anyone who makes use of Commercial Electronic Messages. This means if you have an email address in your e-marketing campaign that you suspect belongs to a Canadian citizen, or if anyone opens your email in Canada, the law is applicable even if your business is based in another country outside Canada. 

Full text of the law:

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/FullText.html

Spam Reporting Centre:

The Spam Reporting Centre (SRC) is managed by the CRTC. Consumers, businesses and other organizations are able to report the following messages to the SRC via fightspam.gc.ca as of July 1, 2014:

  • commercial electronic messages sent without consent; and/or
  • commercial electronic messages with false or misleading content

For more details, visit: http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/h_00017.html

Additional resources:

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