What is Canada's New Anti-Spam Law (CASL)?

Canada's new anti-spam law (CASL) will come into force on July 1, 2014, and will require most organizations to obtain consent before sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs), including e-mails, text messages, and certain other electronic communications. It is also a measure to reduce electronic threats to commerce, including phishing, pharming, malware and spyware. It is critical that organizations begin to plan for compliance as those found to be in violation could face hefty fines.

When does CASL take effect?

The majority of CASL comes into force on July 1, 2014, except for two key dates:

  • January 15, 2015: computer program rules in force, and
  • July 1, 2017: private right of action in force

Start planning now. Once CASL comes into effect on July 1, 2014, an electronic message requesting consent will be considered a CEM and therefore in violation of the new legislation.

What You Need to Know

Davis LLP has put together essential information resources to help you and your organization understand the legislation and prepare for compliance.

Commercial Electronic Messages (CEMs)

Computer Program Compliance

CASL Flowchart

Learn about express consent versus implied consent in the sending of electronic messages through email, texting and social media >>

Understand the consent requirements surrounding the usage of computer technology in the course of commercial activity >>

Download this at-a-glance spam flowchart outlining the CASL consent structure >>

CASL Compliance Plan Overview

CASL Compliance Plan Gantt Chart

Conducting Inventory of CEMs

A week-by-week plan for implementing CASL training and compliance in your organization >>

A handy project calendar to keep you on track >>

Find out how to conduct a successful and comprehensive inventory of CEMs for CASL compliance >>

Third-Party Contracts

Exceptions to Anti-Spam Rules

Penalties & Risks

What to do if a third party is involved in your organization's marketing communications >>

Find out which types of communications are exempt from CASL consent requirements and prohibitions >>

Why should businesses comply with CASL? What are the consequences of violation? >>

CASL Resources

We have prepared additional references covering key aspects of CASL. You can access and download CASL materials by clicking on the links below.

INTERVIEW: What Canadian PR Agencies Should Know about New Anti-Spam Legislation

PR agencies may need to re-evaluate their current strategies regarding pitches and media outreach. Bill Hearn, Counsel in the Davis LLP Toronto office, speaks to marketing agency Polaris PR Inc. on how the new anti-spam legislation will affect media relations professionals.

SEMINAR: Is There Spam in Your Castle?

This client seminar was delivered at the Davis LLP Vancouver office. It provides a clear overview of the new anti-spam legislation and offers practical guidance on how to prepare for compliance and ongoing maintenance of consent data.

WORKSHOP: An In-Depth Training Guide to Prepare for Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL)

This informative training session full of actionable tips was presented as part of the Canadian Institute's 20th Annual Advertising and Marketing Law Conference.

BULLETIN: Are You Prepared for Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation?

This bulletin effectively highlights the key points in the new legislation.

BULLETIN: Getting Ready for Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) - Try Green Regs and Spam (Even If You Do Not Like Them)

This bulletin provides detailed information on the legislation, including key provisions set out by both the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Industry Canada.

Stay Up to Date on CASL

Sign up for the Davis LLP CASL mailing list to stay on top of updates on Canada's anti-spam legislation. Click here to subscribe >

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.