This post was first published on May 11 2014 and I updated it today, January 20 2015
On July 1, 2014 Canada’s Anti - Spam Legislation (CASL) went into effect and brought clarity about the definition of SPAM to Canadians . The considerable fines give it some teeth while some of the interpretations will probably keep a number of legal professionals busy for a while.
CASL brought the current laws closer to US standards and define what constitutes SPAM
One of the biggest changes is the inclusion of all electronic messages and not only email. It introduced the term “commercial electronic message’ CEM
CASL applies to a commercial electronic message (CEM) sent by any medium.
They don’t look at the sender, they look at the message, and it is technology neutral,” Ms. Babe of Miller Thomson says. “If you use social media to merely post an item, fine. If you use your LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter account to send an e-mail to another person, which is commercial in nature, then it is a CEM under CASL.
In my words this means that any message that sent with the intent to sell something (including those by nonprofits and charities) fall under the new law.
As of July 1st all Social Media Marketing messages will have to conform to CASL even if they originate outside of Canada
CASL applies to most forms of electronic messaging, including email, SMS text messages, and certain forms of messages sent via social networking. Voice and fax messages are excluded, as they are covered by the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. The law applies broadly to any CEM that is sent from or accessed by a computer system located in Canada.
The second term we have to look at is “consent”
“CASL creates a permission-based regime, meaning that, subject to specific exclusions, consent is required before sending a CEM. Consent can either be express or implied.
In order to obtain express consent the sender must:
- clearly describe the purpose(s) for requesting consent;
- provide the name of the person seeking consent, and identify on whose behalf consent is sought, if different;
- provide contact information for either of those persons (mailing address and either a telephone number, email address of web address); and,
- indicate that the recipient can unsubscribe.
The CRTC has stated that, in its opinion, a pre-checked box cannot be used to obtain express consent.”
CASL provides that consent may be implied in any of the following four circumstances:
- the sender and recipient have an existing business relationship (e.g., the recipient has made a purchase within the past two years, or an inquiry within the past two months);
- the sender and recipient have an existing non-business relationship;
- the recipient has conspicuously published their electronic address(e.g., on a website), has not expressly stated that they do not wish to receive unsolicited messages, and the message is related to the recipient’s professional capacity; or,
- the recipient has disclosed their electronic address directly to the sender, has not expressly stated that they do not wish to receive unsolicited messages, and the message is related to the recipient’s business or official capacity.
There is a lot of confusion about this right now and we will see how this can and will be enforced.
In my next CASL post I will go deeper into the impact of the law on email messages and your email list.
But for now let’s explore how CASL will effect the way we use LinkedIn and LinkedIn messages in particular.
- It is clear to me that LinkedIn messages fall under CASL in the same way as emails do
- It is my opinion that regular messages sent between 1st level connections can be seen as at least having “implied consent” because
- You have to agree to be connected to someone
- There is a clear process of severing a connection to someone
- InMail (LinkedIn’s internal messaging system) is a different story
- Agreeing to be connected on LinkedIn does not mean permission to send sales letters
- Members can opt out of receiving InMail but can not opt out of receiving messages from an individual
I hope that LinkedIn Canada will bring clarity in this matter soon. There is a period of two years where at least messages to your connections could be considered “implied consent” because a person agreed to be connected with you and therefore has a “business or personal relationship” with you.
LinkedIn needs to establish a clear way of obtaining “express consent”!
The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation forces us to reevaluate the way we approach potential customers. As business people we have to spend more energy building relationships before we pitch a sale. I have to assume that most small business people don’t intentionally send out SPAM but we all have to re-think the definition of the term. Most of the time we think only about our intention and not how it is received on the other end.
As of July 1, 2014 CASL demands that all commercial electronic messages (CEM) sent to a computer in Canada require consent. This consent can be “implied” but have to be converted to “express consent” within 2 years.
How will CASL change the way you work?Please let me know in the comments!
Photo credit: licensed at depositphotos.com
Resources about CASL - Canadian Anti Spam Legislation
CASL (Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation) comes into effect on July 1, 2014. Penalties for not complying with CASL will be harsh. The penalties are intended to deter companies from sending spam or sending messages to contacts who have not provided their consent.
A Plan for CASL Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) comes into effect on July 1, 2014. CASL regulates how you can send commercial electronic messages (CEMs). Many businesses are worried about making their electronic communications CASL compliant, as the fines for sending spam are going to be hefty.
We have all been the victims of "spam" at some point in our lives. It is almost daily that we receive some form of unsolicited e-mail message attempting to get us to buy something that we are not very interested in.
There are serious consequences for non-compliance By Sylvia Kingsmill You know the feeling: you check your email to find a laundry list of emails from various companies that you may or may not have dealt with in the past. Or a text pings on your smartphone ― and it's unwanted spam.
Why You Should Care about Canada's Anti-Spam Law It may only be early January, but there's new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) coming down the pike in July that all email marketers should have on their collective radar.
Small businesses are scrambling to make sure they're compliant with new anti-spam legislation taking effect on July 1 that will impact how they drum up future sales. Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is a tough new law meant to crack down on unwanted e-mail and texts, and it will apply to companies and organizations worldwide.
Recruiters take quite a bit of heat from those in the tech community based on what many refer to as LinkedIn spam, and the definition of spam within LinkedIn's context seems to be fairly wide. Recruiter shaming in public forums and blog posts about making ridiculous demands or nasty responses when being presented a potential opportunity...
As of July 2014, B2B email marketers will be faced with serious challenges when it comes to communication with potential clients. Get a head start on finding a workaround for this change. Canada's new Anti-Spam legislation (CASL) takes effect July 1, 2014.
Article by Sharon E. Groom and Amrita Mann, student at law On July 1, 2014, Bill C-28 which is Canada's anti-spam law ("CASL") will finally come into force. Industry Canada's final regulations were released on December 4, 2013 and so we now have a clear picture of what the rules are.
January 31, 2014 Canada's new Anti-Spam Law - By:Steven Weiss All businesses that send out electronic messages to or from Canada need to prepare for Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL) which will become effective as at July 1, 2014.
Overview and status (last updated: April, 2014) Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which was passed in 2010, establishes rules for sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) as well as the installation of computer programs, and prohibits the unauthorized alteration of transmission data.
On July 1, 2014 Canada's Anti - Spam Legislation (CASL) goes into effect and will bring clarity about the definition of SPAM to Canadians . The considerable fines give it some teeth while some of the interpretations will probably keep a number of legal professionals busy for a while.
Making sure the people who get your marketing emails have explicitly asked to receive them is best practice anyway. But a new anti-spam law going into effect in Canada over the next few months makes it even more of a necessity. And, yes, it could impact small businesses in the U.S.
Earlier this fall, Constant Contact hosted the first of a multi-part webinar series, "Opt-in Canada!," to help small business and nonprofits understand Canada's new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and the steps they need to take to ensure continued marketing success. CASL will impact Canadian marketers. And will also impact anyone marketing to Canadian consumers.
Guest post by: Shaun Brown In the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) accompanying the final Industry Canada regulations under CASL, Industry Canada stated that In some cases, where there is neither an exclusion nor any form of consent under CASL, some businesses that may have been compliant with PIPEDA when seeking consent to collect or to use electronic addresses to send commercial electronic messages may no longer be able to contact those addresses under CASL.
On July 1st the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation will come into effect with new rules and hefty, potential fines. I have written a couple of posts about this already: Don't Get Caught - Canada Anti-Spam Legislation and LinkedIn Webinar Recording: The Canadian Anti-SPAM Legislation Canada's New Anti-Spam Legislation has Some Teeth And I have collected a list of CASL resources that I will share at the end of this article.
June 19, 2014 There has been a lot of talk in the media of late about the new Canadian anti-spam legislation. Numerous stories have been reported in the media, with the result being that business owners are panicked and scrambling, fearing a multi-million dollar lawsuit that would sink nearly any business.