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New Canada Anti-Spam Legislation

By July 3, 2014October 14th, 2021Blog

Now that the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has become law many Canadian’s are optimistic that their email inbox will soon be void of unwanted and annoying emails.  The need to remove unsolicited email from your inbox is without question.  Nevertheless, how and when this will happen even with CASL is not clear.

What is clear is that many companies see the new anti-spam legislation as a risk to how they conduct business using machine-generated email directed at Canada.  This is perhaps a good thing.  After all this is the intent of the law.  However, when Microsoft truculently announced it would suspend security notifications via email as a result of CASL (reversing the announcement shortly after) it pointed out a larger issue.  Some machine generated emails are useful

Undoubtedly, there are court battles to be fought over this law.  Nevertheless, will this law greatly reduce the volume of spam you receive at work? Will this new law give you the legal “cudgel” you need to beat these annoying spammers over the head?

What you should know about CASL:

  • Individuals may not sue spammers until 2017 (You’ll have to wait, at least awhile, to wage a personal vendetta against a spammer.)
  • The implied consent stipulations make it unlikely that an individual would pursue a suit against a spammer all the way to court. You can do it but it will cost you.
  • If you give express consent to a source (sign up for a newsletter, request information, etc.) there is virtually no limit to the amount of spam and unwanted email you may receive for the next two years from this source.
  • There is no accounting for unsolicited “good” email and unsolicited “bad” email (exceptions such as non-profits exist.) Unfortunately, unsolicited email is kind of like cholesterol. There’s good and bad.

CASL is designed to allow the Government to sue egregious spammers.  For practical purposes it does little to limit a company’s frustration from day-to-day unwanted email.

CASL is certainly trying to stop one of the biggest drawbacks to a society dependent on email.  Yet you may not get the results you were hoping for without the right tools to buttress the law. There are some technologies that can lower your unwanted mail and help enforce CASL. These technologies tend to deliver some of the following:

  • Logging and making searchable first attempts by spammers to reach employees. This gives teeth to cease and desist letters and legal discovery.
  • Challenging initial emails from spammers with legal guidelines will keep them at bay. The same way a sign from an alarm company in your yard is more effective than the alarm itself.
  • Requiring someone emailing you for the first time, and that you have never emailed, to acknowledge via a click thru that they believe they have the right to email you.

Ultimately, using technology not court rooms to keep unproductive email out of your inbox is your best defense.