What is the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)?

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CASL is an anti-spam law introduced in Canada in July 2014. One of the world’s strictest anti-spam laws, CASL was created to protect Canadian citizens from receiving unsolicited emails. The law sets clear requirements for the sending of “commercial electronic messages” (CEM) within, from or to Canada. Under CASL, electronic messages can include emails, SMS text messages, instant messages and messages sent through social networks.

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The law’s key component is that companies that send CEMs must get consent from contacts before sending them emails. The law defines two types of consent: express and implied. Express consent means someone actively gave you permission to send him/her a commercial email message. Implied consent means it would be reasonable to conclude you have someone’s permission to send him/her a commercial email messages based on prior relationships.

In addition, in every CEM you must include the following:

  • The name of the person sending the message, and identify on whose behalf the message is sent, if different.
  • Contact information (mailing addressing and either a phone number or an email address) of the senders.
  • A mechanism that allows the recipient to easily unsubscribe at no cost.

For more information on CASL see the full text of the law here. Also, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission's has set up an FAQ page to help answer your questions about CASL.

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