In the last few weeks, you may have received e-mails from businesses and organizations asking you to give consent so they can continue to send you newsletters. The reason for these e-mails is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, or CASL, which will come into effect on July 1st, 2014. This new legislation is designed to protect Canadians from spam all the while allowing businesses to continue with their usual activities.
In preparation for next week, here’s what you need to know about CASL. Note that this is not legal advice, just a few pointers on how the new legislation will affect you.
- The new legislation prohibits individuals, businesses, and organizations from sending “commercial electronic messages” (CEMs) to recipients in Canada without having first obtained their consent, implied or expressed.
- The legislation doesn’t apply to personal relationships between individuals so long as you can show that this relationship is based on two-way communication between two individuals who have shared interests or experiences, and know each other’s real identities.
- This legislation applies to any commercial message sent from or accessed on a computer located in Canada.
- If you gave a company or organization your consent before the law comes into effect on July 1st, that consent is still valid after that date.
- Your consent can both be implied or expressed. Implied consent refers to companies you have a past business or non-business relationship with. With implied consent, there is a 36 month transitional period. Basically, your implied consent will be valid for three years after the law comes into effect, but you can withdraw that consent at any time. Express consent has to be explicitly given and doesn’t have an expiration date. Like implied consent though, it can be withdrawn at any time.
- If you give your consent to one company, that company can share your consent with other companies it works with. If you want to withdraw your consent, you can do so with the company you initially gave consent to, and it’s up to that company to share the withdrawal with its partners.