Telecom regulator issues information on how it will prosecute

With Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) coming into force on July 1, the federal government has been sharing its pointers on how businesses can avoid sending spam – and how they can avoid warnings and fines for flouting the new laws.

We’ve covered a lot about CASL  as has our sister site ITBusiness.ca, but the Canadian Radio-television Commission (CRTC) has also weighed in with how it’ll be enforcing the law.

In a presentation the agency outlined again the maximum penalty for an individual who doesn’t comply with CASL – up to $1 million per violation. The penalty gets heftier for an organization, which can be slapped with as much as $10 million per violation – and liability extends to directors and officers.

However, that doesn’t mean individuals and organizations will get the maximum penalty for their first violations. Under CASL enforcement, the CRTC says it will enforce compliance through voluntary alternative case resolution and undertakings, but also through involuntary warnings and injunctions, as well as monitoring for organizations that lapse back into flouting the legislation.

The CRTC also plans to investigate non-compliant organizations through gathering intelligence. It will send out preservation demands, requests for information, notices to produce information, and searches and seizures.

The main goals of CASL are to get more businesses to comply with the legislation and to cut back on the amount of malware people are unwittingly installing on their mobile devices. The other, more lofty goal of the laws are to improve Canada’s reputation as the country is currently considered a haven for spam.

But the CRTC is also hoping for some indirect effects to take place – for example, the new laws may encourage companies to adopt some kind of standard in sending messages to their customers and leads. And with less messages being sent everyday, businesses and consumers may be able to save some of their funding, with a more even playing field for smaller companies in competing with their larger counterparts. And of course, consumers may feel more empowered, as they’ll be able to clearly express when they no longer want messages from a business or organization.

In the future, the CRTC hopes to get more information out there by putting on workshops and presentations, organizing webinars, setting up information bulletins, providing material for its staff, posting FAQ’s on its website, and providing infographics and videos.

But the CRTC is also hoping for some indirect effects to take place – for example, the new laws may encourage companies to adopt some kind of standard in sending messages to their customers and leads. And with less messages being sent everyday, businesses and consumers may be able to save some of their funding, with a more even playing field for smaller companies in competing with their larger counterparts. And of course, consumers may feel more empowered, as they’ll be able to clearly express when they no longer want messages from a business or organization.

In the future, the CRTC hopes to get more information out there by putting on workshops and presentations, organizing webinars, setting up information bulletins, providing material for its staff, posting FAQ’s on its website, and providing infographics and videos.

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