Strict New Anti-Spam Rules Take Effect in Canada July 1st

June 23, 2014Alerts

This is a quick reminder that Canada’s strict new Anti-Spam Legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2014 and has broad implications for emails and text messages sent to customers and potential customers in Canada.

The new law regulates “commercial electronic messages” (CEM), which include any electronic message that encourages participation in a commercial activity, even when the sender has no expectation of profit.

The law’s key provisions require: (1) obtaining prior consent from the recipient to send the CEM, which in most cases must be express consent, (2) providing identifying information about the sender, (3) including an unsubscribe mechanism, and (4) maintaining a record of consent confirmations.

The consent rules are strict, and even an email designed to obtain a consumer’s consent is itself a CEM that requires prior consent, presenting a challenge for companies sending CEMs to potential customers in Canada after July 1, 2014. The law is one of the strictest globally, and includes potential penalties up to $10 million for violations. Companies doing business in Canada should carefully consider the new Anti-Spam Legislation and work with counsel to craft an appropriate communications plan.