What is CASL
CASL is the Canadian governments attempt to reduce and control “commercial electronic message” spam. Commercial electronic messages (CEM’s) include e-mail, text, sound, voice and image messages. If any communication takes place with commercial intentions (sale, signup, contact us, etc.) without the express consent of a user it is in violation of CASL standards.
So what is the penalty for not complying with CASL standards? Each non-compliant CEM can cost up to $200, on top of any compensation and other expenses incurred, to a maximum of $1 million per person per day. If it is a business, this$1 million increases to $10 million. Needless to say, the fines are very high – and rightly so. No one likes spam and the Canadian government is trying to make it very, very costly to send unsolicited CEM’s.
The News on CASL
Canada’s tough anti spam legislation (CASL) will be fully in affect as of July 1st, 2017. Although CASL was introduced 3 years ago, the legislation provided a grace period to allow businesses, business owners, and employees to learn and implement policies that comply with the legislation. Effective July 1st however, this grace period has come to an end and CASL will take full effect. CASL dishes out tough penalties for people sending CEM’s without the consent of the end user.
Upcoming Changes to CASL
Starting July 1st, 2017 the following changes will now be in effect.
- Implied consent is only valid if you have had a working relationship within the last two years.
- Emails must have a direct and straightforward means of unsubscribing.
- Directors can be held personally liable if they directed, authorized, or willingly allowed CASL violations to take place.
One of the most important changes introduced by CASL legislation is the fact that directors can now be held personally liable. Although most will claim ‘due diligence’ it can be argued that their ‘due diligence’ needs to ensure these types of unsolicited CEM’s are not taking place and that proper procedures are in place.
If you have any questions about CASL it is advised that you contact your lawyer. They will be able to outline exactly what communications are allowed as well as the types of information and consent you will need to collect.