June 27, 2014
You’ve probably been getting a lot of emails in your inbox asking for your permission to continue receiving emails, promotions, newsletters etc., from various senders. Trust me, it’s less about courtesy and more about complying with a new law.
Communications come from all different sources. Most are benign. Your emails to business associates, clients, supporters, suppliers and a myriad of others are purely part of the daily workplace processes. You ask for things, promote things, suggest things throughout the year. It’s all good. And most of your contacts reciprocate.
But the communications landscape is changing thanks to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation or CASL.
Introduced in 2010, it is designed to make things safer online, to provide that feel-good vibe for Canadians participating in online or electronic commerce in this country. In otherwords, it’s an attempt at cleaning up the wild west environment that’s prevelant in the e-commerce world.
What it will do is; prohibit the sending of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to those who didn’t ask for it or permit it. So those with email, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or other such accounts, cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices will no longer be inundated with commercial crap, unless they’ve okeyed it. It’s sort of like having a guard dog by your mailbox. Junk mail isn’t going to pile up as long as you’ve got Goliath on the job. You bring Goliath indoors and you’re saying, hey, it’s ok. I want junk mail.
There are additional restrictions being placed on the distribution of CEMs. You won’t be able to alter transmission data in CEMs so that they go to others without their consent. The installation of malicious computer software, ie. malware, spyware, along with a wanted computer program will be verbotten without prior consent from the recipient. Misleading people or making misleading representations online, including on websites, while promoting products or services will be illegal. Collecting electronic addresses by way of computer programs and using these addresses without the address holder’s knowledge or permission won’t be allowed.
Of course there is some fine print in the CASL but in a nutshell unless you’re a not-for-profit, the cavalier approach to communicating electronically in Canada is really tightening up.
The legislation will roll out July 1st, 2014. We call that Canada Day eh! Organizations like ACNBA will have three years to get their electronic communications house in order.
It’s about time really. Think about how much time is wasted and the frustration created dealing with all the junk on websites, in programs, in emails and so on that you didn’t ask for.
Now you’ll get the chance to do just that. So get ready for a steady inflow of electronic permission slips.
We’ll see how this all goes. For those senders or marketers who don’t comply there’s no slap on the wrist. Individuals can be fined up to $1,000,000 and businesses up to $10,000,000! So everyone better get on board and understand what they’re doing before they press that SEND button starting July 1st.