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What Does it Mean for your Organization?

The Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) took effect on July 1, 2014. CASL deals with commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and it regulates a broad range of activities including:

  • unsolicited commercial messages such as emails, texts and tweets;
  • hacking, malware and spyware;
  • “phishing” and other fraudulent or misleading practices;
  • invading privacy through a computer; and
  • collecting email addresses without consent.

On July 1, 2017, the CASL sections that deal with the private right of action were supposed to come into force. This meant that private individuals and organizations that are affected by a violation of CASL will be able to seek legal redress through civil actions. However, the Government of Canada has indefinitely suspended the private right of action.

Electronic messages may be sent only to recipients that have already opted in with express consent or have published contact information online or given you a business card (implied consent).

The Sport Law's LeeAnn Cupidio wrote a comprehensive blogpost about the CASL's effect on sport organizations and Kathy Hare followed up with a blogpost on the CASL's effect on Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations. Both posts give a great background to whether your organization also has to send these consent messages to members, newsletter subscribers, and business partners.

Information for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations regarding CASL is available through the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. Information for business can be found on the Government of Canada's website.