Legislative compliance

Rule the CASL: Prepare for Changes to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

May 25, 2017

Editor’s Note: This blog post has been revised on June 8, 2017 to reflect that the the private right of action provisions under CASL have been suspended until completion of a parliamentary review.

CASL may be one of the most anxiety-provoking acronyms used in workplaces across the country, and with changes to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation coming into effect on July 1, 2017, you might be feeling the pressure. But what are these changes exactly, and how will they affect your current operations? The most substantial change to the legislation affects implied consent provisions.

When CASL came into force in 2014, it included a three-year transition period that allowed organizations to rely on implied consent for sending commercial electronic messages, or CEMs, in certain circumstances. This grace period gave organizations a chance to adapt to CASL and upgrade to express consent where possible. July 1, 2017 marks the end of this transition period, which means organizations that relied on implied consent now must review and reconfirm their compliance systems; otherwise, they might face some significant fines. You might wonder: “Does this mean I can’t use implied consent anymore?” Essentially, these changes to consent mean that CEMs cannot be sent to customers or potential customers unless you have that person’s express consent, or you have an existing business or non-business relationship with that person.

Being CASL-compliant may feel daunting, but being ready for the changes on July 1, 2017 doesn’t have to be complicated. Prioritize knowing when consent is needed and ensuring your employees are aware of the changes and understand what is expected of them. Also, verify that your leadership team is fully on board and aware of what CASL violations can look like to help you stay proactive. In doing so, you can ensure your organization achieves full compliance with CASL, just in time for the July long weekend.

So, how can your organization get ready to meet the July 1, 2017 changes to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and avoid those costly penalties? Download our free CASL Guide, where we discuss actions you can take to achieve CASL compliance.

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Source - Government of Canada

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