New Canadian anti-spam law is now in effect and penalties for violation are up to $10 million (Canadian). The law does apply to American businesses, and you could be held personally liable for the penalties. Here is what you need to know to avoid serious fines.

Why you should care about the new Canadian anti-spam law:

  • The penalties for violation are up to $10 million (Canadian)
  • Individuals and companies, including directors, officers and other agents, are responsible and liable for the messages they send. 
  • The law applies to any commercial email or social media message sent to a consumer or device located in Canada.
  • US-based email service providers MailChimp and ConstantContact are enforcing the law on their users.
  • Many Canadians visit our area on a regular basis, and you may have Canadian customers without knowing it.

What you need to know about the new Canadian anti-spam law:

  • All recipients of commercial messages sent via email or social media networks must:
    • Explicitly provide knowledgeable consent in writing or recorded verbally OR
    • Have a made a purchase from the vendor within the last 12 months
  • All forms with opt-in functionality must:
    • NOT have pre-checked opt-in boxes
    • Have a clear and concise description of your purpose in obtaining consent
    • Have a description of messages you'll be sending
    • Record the requestor's name and contact information (physical mailing address and telephone number, email address, or website URL)
    • Include a statement that the recipient may unsubscribe at any time.

Sources:
http://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/compliance-tips/about-the-canada-anti-spam-law-caslhttp://img.constantcontact.com/docs/pdf/CASL_checklist.pdf

Legal Disclaimer:
This blog post is NOT legal advice and does not cover this issue completely. If you intend to send advertising and marketing materials via email to consumers, you should screen all lists and obey all international, national, state and local laws. See the advice of legal professionals with experience in this area if you have questions regarding the information presented here. Don't blame us if you get hit with a huge fine because you broke the law.