CASL is No Joke – CRTC Issues $1.1 million First Notice of Violation

CASL is No Joke – CRTC Issues First $1.1 million Notice of Violation

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) came into affect July 1, 2014. Most businesses scrambled to understand this new law in an effort to comply with it. However, some didn’t even make an effort.

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the issue of its first CASL notice of violation to Compu-Finder, a Quebec-based training company. The notice of violation offers “30 days to submit written representations to the CRTC or pay the penalty” of $1.1 million or implementing the option “requesting an undertaking with the CRTC on this matter.” – Canadian Underwriter

“Compu-Finder flagrantly violated the basic principles of the law by continuing to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages after the law came into force to email addresses it found by scouring websites.” – Manon Bombardier, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer at the CRTC

The content of these emails included promotions of various management, social media and professional development training programs.

“Complaints submitted to the Spam Reporting Centre clearly indicate that consumers didn’t find Compu-Finder’s offerings relevant to them.” – Manon Bombardier, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer at the CRTC

Compu-Finder didn’t provide an option to unsubscribe from their email list, and therefore, receivers of their Commercial Electronic Messages (CEM) were spammed 4 times from July 2 – September 16, 2014.

Compu-Finder accounted for 26% of all complaints made to the Spam Reporting Centre.

“By issuing this Notice of Violation, my goal is to encourage a change of behaviour on the part of Compu-Finder such that it adapts its business practices to the modern reality of electronic commerce and the requirements of the anti-spam law. We take violations to the law very seriously and expect businesses to be in compliance.” Manon Bombardier, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer at the CRTC

Learn From the First CASL Notice of Violation

Long story short, the CRTC means business. CASL is no joke. The law does apply to you.

Do you fully understand CASL? If not, read up on it. Make sure you know the difference between express and implied consent, the definition of a commercial electronic message (CEM), and unsubscribe and identity guidelines. Consider CASL with regards to buying email lists and the use of social media as well.

Knowledge is power, right? But, if you don’t practice what you preach, that knowledge is useless.

Ensure every employee understands CASL and implement it into your email marketing and social media strategy.

For further reading:

Natalie Waddell

Founder and President at LawyerLocate.ca Inc.
Natalie was spirited to start this company after a frustrating and poor personal experience when searching for a lawyer back in the late nineties. “I quickly realized that the tools available to assist someone in finding the right lawyer were grossly inadequate. Not only inadequate for the individual in need of a lawyer, but also inadequate for the lawyers in search of new clients. There had to be a better way to connect clients and lawyers in a more efficient manner – without wasting everybody’s time and effort”, explains Natalie.

Natalie brings a passion to the business that ensures the entire LawyerLocate.ca team strives to improve the service for both lawyers and the general public. To that end, she is committed to ongoing communication with our members and welcomes and relies on clients’ input to continually evolve the service to make it better for all.

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