Canada's Law on Spam and Other Electronic Threats
No endorsement of any products or services is expressed or implied.
Be aware of recent warnings and notices from the agencies responsible for enforcing Canada's Anti-Spam Law.
- Beware of emails and calls claiming to represent the CRA – November 10, 2015
Be aware of recent actions taken by the agencies responsible for enforcing Canada's
- Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada - Investigation of Compu-Finder – May 27, 2016
- CRTC serves its first-ever warrant under CASL in botnet takedown – December 3, 2015
- CRTC - Undertaking: Rogers Media Inc. –
November 20, 2015
- CRTC - Undertaking: Porter Airlines Inc. – June 29, 2015
About the law
Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL) came into effect July 1, 2014. It is in place to protect Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.
If you use electronic channels to promote or market your organization, products or services, Canada's new anti-spam law may affect you.
On January 15, 2015, new rules about installing computer programs came into force. It is now illegal to install programs, such as malware, on someone's computer without consent.
It is your duty to understand and comply with the law.
Do you use email, SMS, social media or instant messaging to send commercial or promotional information about your organization to customers, prospects and other important audiences?
Do you install software programs on people's computers or mobile devices?
Do you carry out these activities in or from Canada?
Get the facts
email or my current email list
to promote my products
- you have previously provided your products or services to them and
- they haven't told you to stop.
post promotional information
on social media.
CASL applies to emails, text and instant messages, and any similar messages sent to electronic addresses.
CASL does not apply to promotional information you post online in places like blogs or social media.
The 36-month transitional provision provides time to adjust and seek express consent from pre-existing clients.
July 1, 2017—the private right of action comes into force
Private individuals and organizations that are affect by a violation of CASL will be able to seek legal redress through civil actions.
Government Action Timeline
Better safe than sorry—Violating CASL has a price
Legitimate complaints about unsolicited emails may be turned over to the CRTC, which may investigate to determine if the message violates CASL.
If you are judged to be in violation, the CRTC has a range of enforcement tools available.
There are no automatic penalties for violations. The CRTC judges each case based on a series of factors, including the nature of the violation, your history with CASL, whether you benefited financially from the violation and your ability to pay a penalty.
Penalties for the most serious violations of the Act can go as high as $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses. Civil cases cannot be brought before the courts until July 2017.top of page
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