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:

Kelsey Vere

Social Content & New Media Specialist at Digital eMspace
As the Social Content & New Media Specialist for Digital eMspace, a division of LawyerLocate.ca Inc, Kelsey is the sole contributor to Digital eMspace’s Blog and a fellow contributor to LawyerLocate.ca Inc.’s blog, DiscoverCanadianLawyers.ca with Samantha Collier. Kelsey also manages Digital eMspace, LawyerLocate.ca Inc., and LegalTube.ca’s social media networks. Kelsey graduated with distinction from the Advertising Program at Conestoga College in 2013 and won the Outstanding Achievement Award of 2012/13.

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