What You Need to Know About the New Canadian Anti-Spam Law Requirements.
What is CASL?
The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation goes into force officially on July 1, 2014.
The new legislation is technically designed to protect Canadian citizens against particularly nasty spam messages used for phishing, identity theft and spyware.
When it comes to email marketing, if your subscribers have willfully chosen to sign up to receive your emails and are given the option to unsubscribed (opt-out) at any time, you will be fine to continue sending emails. If you are unsure about how your contacts were obtained, you may send out an additional email asking subscribers to either opt-in or opt-out from receiving further emails. Constant Contact makes it very clear that users can unsubscribe at any time and will no longer receive any form of contact from your business.
According to the law, the opt-in email is not required. The only thing required is to ensure that your email list is 100% authentic, as in you have not used any sort of email harvesting program in order to obtain your contacts. If you would still like to go ahead with sending an opt-in email, Constant Contact can create a ‘Confirmation Email Campaign’ that will be sent to your current contacts.It is important to note that those contacts that do not re-subscribe to the email will no longer be contacts. If you’re willing to take the risk in losing contacts, we can go through with it, but it is not recommended nor required as long as an unsubscribe button is present.
How is CASL enforced?
CASL is going to be enforced by three different agencies – the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); the Competition Bureau; and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Unless you use the proper precautions, your business could be found in violation and you could be open to penalties of up to $10 million. The law applies even if you are located outside of Canada, but send to recipients who access the messages from within Canada
The new regulation gives a three-year grace period for email marketers to obtain permission from recipients they already email inside Canada. However, after that time the Canadian government will be able to file suit for up to $10 million against violators.