Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)took effect on July 1, 2014. Under this law, individuals and businesses are required to gain Express or Implied consent from recipients prior to sending email, text, or social media messages, and keep proof of this consent.
Express Consent – A clear and voluntary indication of preference that is given specifically, either verbally or in writing.
Implied Consent – An assumption of permission which is not expressly granted, but rather inferred by actions.
When CASL was first implemented, the legislation provided Canadian’s with a transition period of July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2017. During the transition period, you were permitted to send messages to recipients who had “implied consent”, unless they unsubscribe. This is about to change. As we enter the final month of this transition period, what changes will take effect and what will this mean for your business?
New CASL Rules 2017
After July 1, 2017, you can only contact someone if they have:
- Provided you with express consent
- Made a purchase from you within the last 2 years
- Made an inquiry to you within the last 6 months
Prior to July, you will need to ensure your company has a process in place to evaluate your implied consent subscribers and remove them prior to the deadline.
How to Evaluate Subscribers
It is crucial to understand the difference between implied consent and express consent. Follow these steps to ensure your marketing campaigns comply with CASL.
- Access your list and determine who has given implied consent. This is a great opportunity to clean out your list, and assess who is active and who is inactive.
- Request express consent from your implied consent contacts. We recommend sending a CASL opt-in email.
- You must remove implied consent contacts who do not respond to your express consent request by July 1, 2017.
- Keep and maintain all records of express consent.
- Regularly audit your subscription list to ensure you are compliant with CASL.
While the transition period for the CASL deadline has now passed, one key thing did not happen on
July 1, 2017. The Private Right of Action provisions under CASL have been delayed indefinitely by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
“Canadians deserve to be protected from spam and other electronic threats so that they can have confidence in digital technology. At the same time, businesses, charities, and other non-profit groups should have reasonable ways to communicate electronically with Canadians. We have listened to the concerns of stakeholders and are committed to striking the right balance.”
– Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
What does this mean for your business? Essentially, you should only be contacting those who you have Express Consent from. But, if you continue to contact your Implied Consent contacts, no legal action can be taken against your company.