The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology submitted a report this week to the Chamber of Communes regarding modifications to Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). According to Jean-Francis Lalonde, CEO of Cyberimpact, “This is excellent news! The committee submitted thirteen recommendations that will inspire necessary adjustments to the law.”
As mentioned in the dissertation that we submitted during the public hearings, the committee recognized that the government must better educate the population and businesses in regards to the particularities of the anti-spam legislation. The recommendations of the committee ask that the government clarify and better define the notions of electronic address, electronic commercial message as well as implied and express consent.
Key recommendations of interest to businesses and marketers:
- The Government of Canada should amend the Act.
- Clarify the definition of a ‘commercial electronic message’.
- Clarify provisions pertaining to ‘implied consent’ and ‘express consent’.
- Clarify definition of ‘electronic address’.
- Clarify whether business-to-business electronic messages fall under the definition of ‘commercial electronic message (CEM)’.
- Revise section 6 to clarify whether transactional communications and service messages listed are CEMs.
- The CRTC to increase efforts to educate Canadians, especially small businesses, in order to increase awareness and understanding of the Act.
- Further investigate the impact of implementing the private right of action, once changes and clarifications have been implemented to the Act and its regulations. Alternatively, damages could be awarded based on proof of tangible harm.
- More transparency from the CRTC regarding the methods, investigations, and determinations of penalties, as well as the collection and dissemination of data on consumer complaints and spamming trends.
- Rename the legislation’s short name to Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA) instead of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), to reflect the broader aim of the legislation.
In conclusion, the Canada’s Anti-Spam Law is here to stay and should be adjusted in 2018. In order to avoid steep fines, it’s in the best interest of Canadian companies to comply with the law.
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