The CMA’s, April CASL Luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn in East Village was again a sold out event. The crowd was buzzing with nervous anticipation as Martin Kratz, Q.C. and Graeme S. Harrison from Bennett Jones LLP began their presentation.
Eyes grew wider and notes books were ready. As all good lawyers, Kratz and Harrison started off with the fine print. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), is a very complicated topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly. No presentations should be relied upon as legal advice; and neither should this blog. With that out of the way, let’s move forward.
After a bit of a refresher on CASL regulations, Martin and Graeme shared some of the penalties that have been issued by the CRTC. They noted that to their surprise, CRTC wasn’t targeting legitimate spammers, but instead technical mistakes being made by legitimate companies.
Take Compu-Finder: In 2014 they sent out four CEM’s without promoting training courses. Their unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly. The fine: $1.1 million.
Porter Airlines sent out commercial messages without an unsubscribe mechanism and didn’t honour the time restriction for replying to unsubscribe requests, not able to prove consent in all cases – they were assessed a $150,000 fine.
Martin and Graeme then talked about the changes to CASL coming into effect July 1, 2017
- The end of transitional implied consent. Implied consent will now only be in effect 2 years after the end of the business relationship and not from the beginning of time.
- The Private Right of Action law comes into force. This means the power to enact on this legislation is now extended beyond the CRTC to those receiving your CEM’s. Compensation is an amount equal to the actual loss or damage suffered or expense incurred. It is expected that class actions suits will be levied against organizations big and small.
Bottom line, it’s up you to know the rules or face the consequences.
With the new rules there could be increased liability and costs to you and your business.
The onus is on the person or organization who alleges they have consent to prove it, so make sure you have solid record keeping of consent and that your lists comply.
TAKE IT SERIOUSLY, DUE DILIGENCE IS YOUR BEST DEFENSE
Click here for more information about Canada’s Anti Spam Law from Martin Kratz and Bennett Jones
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