Your business or non-profit organization sends emails to its customers, members, and prospects every single day, both individually and in bulk. These “commercial electronic messages” (CEMs) are a routine part of our lives — but did you know that they could also cost you millions of dollars in legal liability?
Effective July 1, 2014: New federal legislation, called “Canadian Anti-Spam Law” (CASL), imposes a range of requirements on all types of CEMs, including email, text messages, and even certain direct message social media messages. This law applies to every Canadian business or non-profit that sends out emails or other forms of electronic message.
It is important to understand that even though the name of the law includes the word “Spam,” CASL applies to content far beyond what the average person would consider spam. The law defines the term so broadly that every organization will feel the impact on how it communicates electronically.
Penalties for non-compliance with CASL are significant. Businesses can be fined up to $10,000,000. Director and officers are liable if they participate in or acquiesce to violations. And starting in 2017, individuals will be given the ability to sue organizations for CASL violations, creating even more liability and potential financial penalties.
Your business or non-profit can avoid these risks by becoming compliant with CASL. You can continue to use email and other forms of electronic messaging in a lawful manner, maximize your number of express consents, and reduce the risk of director and officer liability.
Harrison Pensa can help you through this process. We will:
• Advise your business or non-profit on the full range of CASL requirements, including those likeliest to create problems and those with the greatest liability.
• Assess your business or non-profit with a full-scale CASL risk diagnosis, applying CASL requirements to an audit of your electronic messaging practices.
• Draft consent language to be provided to all recipients of your CEMs, so that you can demonstrate you have received the informed consent of your contacts.
• Draft policies and procedures for everyone in your business or organization to ensure they are aware of and comply with all relevant CASL provisions.
- Anti-Spam Act (Aka CASL) in Force July 1, 2014
- Anti-Spam Law Regulations
- Some CASL Clarification
- Spam Now So You Can Spam Later
- Further CASL Reading