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Get the facts on Canada’s new anti-spam law

By: Blake Richards

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 10:03 am

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Over the past two weeks, my email inbox has been flooded with requests to continue sending me unsolicited messages. I suspect many of you have experienced the same wave of emails, as Canada’s new Anti Spam Law (CASL) took effect.

This law, which received support from all parties in the House of Commons and Senate, was approved by Parliament in December of 2010.

It came into force on July 1, 2014 introducing new rules to protect Canadian consumers from the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam and online threats, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware.

The new law will help to protect you against receiving emails and text messages without consent; having computer programs installed on your system without consent; and having your electronic addresses and personal information collected without consent.

As of Canada Day, this law gives you more control by requiring your consent to receive emails and text messages.

Even with your consent, companies have to identify themselves in their emails and provide a way to unsubscribe from receiving further messages.

Spammers who do not comply risk major financial penalties.

Moving forward, on January 15, 2015, it will be illegal for spammers to install programs such as malware without consent.

On July 1, 2017, individuals and organizations can officially file lawsuits against someone who they allege has violated the law.

It is important to note that Canadian businesses still have three years to renew consent with existing clients, if a business already has your express consent, it can continue to communicate with clients through email and not be in violation of the law. Under the new rules, express consent never expires unless the client withdraws it.

You can report spam to the Spam Reporting Centre (SRC), at www.fightspam.gc.ca Alternatively, you can forward a suspect piece of email to the spam@fightspam.gc.ca address.

The bottom line is that spam, email fraud and phishing schemes are favoured tools of criminals; it is estimated that spam costs the Canadian economy more than $3 billion per year.

Canada’s anti-spam law is designed to help address privacy risks online, and our government has committed to reviewing the law every three years, to help keep ahead of the criminal element targeting Canadians.

For more information on the new spam legislation, I encourage you to visit www.fightspam.gc.ca


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