Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation imposes a range of requirements on all types of “commercial electronic messages”  or 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.

Businesses send emails and texts to customers and prospects every day. If CEMs violate CASL rules, this could result in significant penalties from the CRTC.

CASL applies to content far beyond what the average person would consider spam. The law defines the term broadly to capture anything that is slightly promotional in nature. In addition to defining spam, it has specific requirements around how to obtain consent, and information to be included in CEMs.

CASL has complex provisions around express and implied consent, and a myriad of technical exceptions. And a need to be able to prove that any given email has the necessary consent or exemption.

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.

Your business can avoid these risks by becoming CASL compliant. 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 advise on CASL requirements and help draft consent language and policies. Contact our Privacy Law group: .