FAQ’s About Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) and How it Will Affect Your Business


Bob Dylan once sang, “the times they are a-changin’.” Never has this been truer than in today’s world, especially with the newly enacted Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) that will come into effect July 1st, 2014. Here are some key areas you need to be aware of to understand how – and if – CASL will affect your business.

Why was CASL created?

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) developed CASL to help restore consumer confidence in what they call “Commercial Electronic Messages” or CEMs.

What is a Commercial Electronic Message or CEM?

A CEM is classified as any message that is sent via an electronic device, such as Email, Text Message, Instant Message or any other electronic correspondence.

Who it applies to?

Whether you’re an individual or a business, CASL applies to Canadian residents and anyone sending CEMs to a Canadian recipient, regardless if your goal is to achieve a profit or not.

What to Know?

Previously, you were allowed to send CEMs to communicate with Canadian recipients as long as you provided an opt-out status. As of July 1st, the opt-out status must still be offered, but you will no longer be permitted to send CEMs to any Canadian resident without first procuring “Express Consent” from them.

To obtain Express Consent from a Canadian recipient in your database, you must explicitly provide the following information:

Clearly describe the purpose for requesting consent.

    • Provide the name of the person seeking consent and identify on whose behalf consent is being sought – if different from company.
    • Provide contact information, such as mailing address and either a phone number, website address or an email address of the company/person seeking consent or the person on whose behalf consent is being sought.
    • Inform the recipient that they can unsubscribe at any time.

This means that Canadian recipients in your database must be fully opted-in (express consent) to receive CEMs from you.

Express consent cannot be assumed and therefore pre-checked boxes on websites are not acceptable mechanisms of obtaining consent from your Canadian recipients. The CRTC calls this toggling and prohibits it from being used as a way to gain Express Consent from the person whose consent is being sought.

You can however gain Express Consent through unchecked boxes where the recipient must manually confirm consent by checking the box.

Well that’s the scoop on CASL. We do want to note though that there will be strict requirements from Clickback to ensure we – and you – abide by this newly enacted law. This is done to protect you and your business. Should you have further questions related to CASL or how you can comply, please feel free to speak to someone that specializes in the law (i.e. an attorney).

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