First Anti-Spam Decision

CanadaFashionLaw previously advised on Canada’s new anti-spam legislation “CASL” (click here).  Within a year of the legislation’s enactment, we have our first decision.  This shows that companies really should pay heed to CASL and ensure that it is in compliance with its provisions.  Below is a summary of the decision against Plentyoffish Media Inc. (“Plenty of Fish”).

Plenty of Fish sent commercial electronic messages to registered users of its online dating service.  The unsubscribe mechanism was not clearly or prominently set out in the e-blasts.  In addition, the unsubscribe mechanism could not be readily performed.  The purpose of the e-blasts was to notify the Plenty of Fish subscribers of all the services that were available.  The violations occurred between July 1, 2014 and October 8, 2014.

Plenty of Fish was hit with a significant fine: $48,000.  In addition, Plenty of Fish was required to undertake that it would develop and implement a program that ensured compliance with the anti-spam legislation.  This included training and education for Plenty of Fish’ staff and the creation of corporate policies and procedures.

If you’d like to know more about Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, feel free to reach out to CanadaFashionLaw at afroese(at)foglers.com

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Wham, Bam…Now There’s No Spam

Starting July 1, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”) will come into effect, which could significantly impact your business’ marketing campaign.

CASL regulates how businesses generate business leads via electronic messages. In real talk, it means less unwanted e-mails! A “Commercial Electronic Message” extends to any means of telecommunications (including text, sound, voice or images), whose purpose is to encourage commercial activities. In reality, this extends to e-mails, texts, instant messages, or anything similar. Whether or not this extends to social media messaging is up in the air.

If e-blasts are a part of your marketing strategy, it is necessary for each recipient to expressly opt-in to being spammed. This can either be in writing or orally. The request for express consent must clearly set out:

– the purpose for the consent;
– the specific information being sought about the consenting individual; and
– a statement that the individual can withdraw his/her consent.

If, however, there is an existing business relationship, an existing non-business relationship or voluntary disclosures, the consent is implied. In specific instances, consent is not required.

CASL also regulates what information must be contained in the consented-to electronic message:

– information that identifies the sender;
– information enabling the recipient to contact the sender;
– a mechanism that enables the recipient to unsubscribe.

If your finger is on that trigger and you continue to spam, thereby violating CASL, monetary penalties could follow.

Word of advice: take a look at your marketing strategy and determine whether any of your electronic messages may be covered under CASL. If yes, determine whether consent is implied or needs to be expressly obtained. Finally, create internal policies that ensure that your business continues to comply with the CASL requirements.

If you have any questions on how your company can comply with CASL, feel free to reach out to CanadaFashionLaw directly.

Handbook to Social Media and Internet Laws

If your business is online and uses social media as part of its customer service/marketing strategy (and let’s face it, whose isn’t), you may be interested in a book that was recently released by Lexis Nexis. It’s a handy book that sets out the legal issues that can arise (stemming from creating social media policies, employment issues, domain name disputes, privacy considerations, and e-commerce).

CanadaFashionLaw was delighted to be a contributing author for this text book.

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy, click here.