August 15, 2014
Since Canada’s new anti-spam law came into effect on July 1, many business owners are still finding the new rules a bit confusing.

In simple terms there are three guidelines that everyone needs to follow: obtain consent, clearly identify yourself and make it easy to unsubscribe.

The law applies to commercial electronic messages (CEMs) only. A CEM is defined as encouraging participation in a business transaction or activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit.

For all electronic messages you determine as commercial, you will need to obtain consent of your recipients, and keep records. There are two types of consent, implied and express consent.

Express consent means that a person has clearly agreed to receive a CEM before it is sent. Consent may be implied in certain situations, such as an existing business or non-business relationship. Implied consent means it would be reasonable to conclude you have someone’s permission to send him or her a CEM based on prior relationships. Implied consent could also apply to someone who has conspicuously published his/her email address, say on a website.

In all cases, ensure you understand the consent you have received from your recipients, and keep detailed records in case you are ever asked to prove that consent has been received.

Consent can be obtained either in writing or orally. In either case, the onus is on the person who is sending the message to prove they have obtained consent to send the message.

Identify yourself and anyone you represent in the message. Provide contact information including your business name, postal address and either a telephone number or email address.

Include a working mechanism that allows the recipient to unsubscribe from receiving additional messages.

Learn about the law at The federal government has posted information about the law along with news, updates and valuable tips.