Canada's Anti-Spam Law

Canada's Anti-Spam Law


Organizations that wish to engage Canadian consumers via commercial electronic messages (CEMs) such as text, emails, and instant messages must be aware of Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL) and the requirements it sets out for companies that wish to market via CEMs. The Canadian Marketing Association outlines in its CASL guide that certain Social Media scenarios are covered by CASL as well. A CEM is any "electronic message intended to encourage participation in a commercial activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit; if the purpose or one of the purposes is to advertise, promote, market, or otherwise offer a product, good, service, business, or gaming opportunity or interest in land."

Some express consent considerations impacting the delivery of CEMs include:

  • Express consent can only be obtained when the message recipient takes a positive action to indicate his or her willingness to receive CEMs
  • Express consent is valid indefinitely or until consent is revoked
  • Contact information provided in the CEM remains valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message has been sent
  • Separate consent is obtained for each act that would require express consent
  • Any unsubscribe request or opt out is processed within 10 days

In addition to requiring prior consent to send CEMs, CASL also requires that all CEMs include the following identification information about the sender in addition to a functioning unsubscribe mechanism:

  • The name of the company or person sending the CEM
  • If the message is sent on behalf of another company or person, a statement indicating which company/person is sending the message and which is the company/person on whose behalf the message is being sent
  • The mailing address, and either
    • A telephone number;
    • An email address; or
    • A web address of the company/person sending the message the company/person on whose behalf the message is being sent
  • A functioning unsubscribe mechanism

Potential Risks

The maximum penalty is $1 million CAD for individuals and up to $10 million CAD for corporations, per violation.

How We Can Help

Our qualified experts understand the impact the CASL requirements can have on your operations and will bring procedural expertise to your organization regarding these issues.

Failure to comply with relevant legislation can have a devastating impact on your business. Don't take chances - let our experts help! CompliancePoint has a variety of services that companies can leverage to meet their CASL Compliance goals.

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