TWEET: Canada soon to adopt anti-spam legislation with stiff penalties.
Canada is getting tough on restricting unsolicited spam with new legislation that can result in $1 million fines for individuals and $10 million fine per violation for corporations.
The CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) is likely to take effect this fall. As it stands a U.S. firm can send electronic marketing messages to anyone, including Canadian residents, without permission, unless and until the recipient opts out by expressly notifying the sender that they do not want to receive such messages, explains Lani Barnes, an attorney specializing in intellectual property and technology law.
“Once CASL goes into effect, companies will not be allowed to send any commercial electronic message (CEM) to any person or business in Canada without the prior express or implied consent of the recipient, unless the CEM falls within one of the limited exceptions to the new law,” said Barnes who works for Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, a Charlotte North Carolina law firm.
As a result, companies and individuals that use electronic marketing to reach customers or potential customers in Canada should start preparing for the new legislation now by developing and implementing compliance programs in order to ensure that they have the appropriate consent from each recipient, she advises.
“Penalties for violating CASL can be severe and directors and officers may be held personally liable for their company’s violation,” said Barnes.