The new CASL Legislation will go into effect this July; are you ready? This new anti-spam legislation will change the way everyone does their email marketing. If you fail to learn the rules and comply you may face serious monetary penalties. This post will show you how to prepare for this tectonic shift in Canada’s email marketing landscape.
While express consent (opt-in) is preferable and eliminates the most risk, it is not the only acceptable form of consent under CASL. Implied consent is still acceptable under certain circumstances and will continue to be so under the new legislation. Although marketers may rely upon implied consent in some circumstances (existing business and non-business relationships), these are bound by certain prescribed requirements and are time-limited. If using implied consent, marketers will have to be vigilant in tracking those consents and their time limits as the burden of proof rests with the organization sending a commercial electronic message.
As well, express consents collected under PIPEDA that meet the affirmative consent requirement under CASL (e.g., person must have checked a box or other affirmative action equivalent) are grandfathered. But if companies are in doubt as to how they collected consent, they would be wise to recollect consent.
Penalty fines for those in violation of sections 6-9 of the legislation range from a maximum penalty of $1 million for individuals to $10 million for businesses
Individuals and businesses are liable and can face penalties for violation Within organizations directors, officers, agents and signatories of a corporation can be liable, if they directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in, or participated in the commission of the violation.
CASL will hit your mailing list hardest. From July onwards you still can send email to established business relationship recipients (within the limited time period allowed) but you should only email new subscribers who have opted in to receive your communications in compliance with the CASL guidelines. While there are a handful of exemptions to the consent rules, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to clean your mailing lists and identify “official” subscribers. Refer to the Canadian Marketing Association’s Guide to Canada’s Anti-Spam Law for full details.
…If you use email to communicate with anyone:
CASL has very specific requirements regarding what constitutes express consent. Marketers should review the rules to make sure they comply.
…If you have NO opt in subscribers:
…If you have a mixture (opted and not):
The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement explains that although CASL is not specifically meant to cover social networks (such as LinkedIn and Facebook), it could capture direct messaging within the networks. This is a gray area (for now) — marketers should proceed with caution. Now is a good time to reevaluate your social media sharing strategy. Some of your activity may be acceptable but if you currently use social media to harvest emails and target site visitors with ads you may need to change your tactics.
What’s ACCEPTABLE according to CASL?
What’s UNACCEPTABLE according to CASL?
If you run a business and market your services you may need to educate your team. Training your staff to comply with CASL may sound extreme but it may also be necessary in order to avoid penalties. Ignorance of this legislation is not a defense.
There are many specific requirements to understand and comply with such as:
How to Train Your Staff:
Consider preparing a CASL Guidelines document your marketing staff. This can be used as their reference whenever they are unclear on what CASL allows them to do or not to do. Appoint A CASL Manager.
If you do not have a marketing manager, now might be the right time. This manager will need to be well versed in CASL legislation in order to guide your team adequately in compliance. This manager also should regularly check for CASL amendments as the legislation takes hold over the coming months and years.
The tips above should have you on the right track to CASL compliance fast and keep you out of trouble. If your email marketing needs an overhaul, act fast, time is running out.