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The Countdown to CASL is Over

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Seems like the ending of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) grace period is the talk of the town (well, in Canada at least). On Canada’s 150th birthday, the grace period will conclude. Is your organization ready?

First, a reminder: What is CASL? It is a federal law aimed at eliminating unsolicited and malicious electronic communications. The majority of CASL’s provisions came into force July 1, 2014 with the remaining provisions coming into full force on July 1, 2017. Organizations will have to comply with specific consent, disclosure and unsubscribe requirements when sending out electronic communications and installation of computer programs.

While most organizations probably went through the necessary steps for compliance back in 2014, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

  1. Ensure your database is time-stamping when your contacts are being added, how that contact point was made, and the nature of the relationship.
  2. Review the difference between express and implied consent. Express consent received before July 1, 2014, remains valid and does not expire until the recipient withdraws it (you likely collected this through campaigns in 2014); however, with implied consent you must follow a series of guidelines outlined here in order to stay within the law.
  3. If someone opts out of receiving communications from you, make sure it is recorded and acted upon immediately.
  4. Document compliance policies and procedures for your organization and educate your team. Legitimate complaints about unsolicited emails may be turned over to the CRTC, which may investigate to determine if the message violates CASL. Penalties for the most serious violations of the Act can go as high as $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses.

We’re all in this together! Just like no one appreciates a telemarketer calling your home at dinner time, no one will appreciate unwanted emails bogging down their inbox.

For more information, the Government of Canada breaks it down for you here.

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