Disclaimer – This should not be interpreted as legal advice. Please consult your own attorneys for specific legal guidance.
The on again – off again Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (or CASL for short) has made a return to our consciousness this week, with the announcement that the legislation will take effect on July 1, 2014. The law will roll out in gradual steps, with the private right of action not beginning until July 1, 2017.
In this post, I'll walk you through some of the most important provisions and things you should be thinking about over the next seven months before this becomes reality. It’s important to remember that this is not legal advice; you should always work with your own legal counsel for specific legal direction.
CASL has a long and checkered past of starts and stops that have confused marketers, who are simply trying to determine what the real world impact will be on their programs. It appears we’re actually on track for a launch this time, and this is a positive step. As marketers, the most difficult thing when trying to be responsible and compliant is uncertainty with laws and regulations. The final version of CASL has removed many of those confusing grey areas with solid direction.
Some of the important provisions you should investigate for yourself:
For most senders, consent is the area of biggest change. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as many other countries have already gone to this model. The reality of sending email today is that implied consent is not sufficient. Spamhaus blocks are just one of the dangers of operating in this manner. Many recipients feel tricked if they receive email via these methods, and complain and hurt deliverability because of it.
There is great difficulty in trying to determine if a recipient is going to open an email in Canada and the risk is becoming too great not to strongly consider moving to an opt-in method of address collection.