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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will have a significant impact on the electronic communication practices of companies operating in the Canadian marketplace. Designed as one of the most stringent anti-spam regimes in the world, the legislation imposes significant restrictions on the use of electronic messages to encourage participation in commercial activities.
Most of CASL, including the rules surrounding sending commercial electronic messages, took effect on July 1, 2014. Provisions related to the unsolicited installation of computer programs or software will come into force on January 15, 2015, and provisions providing for a private right of action (which could involve class actions) will come into force on July 1, 2017.
The potential penalties for non-compliance under CASL are significant and include administrative monetary penalties of up to C$1-million for individuals and C$10-million for corporations.
Under CASL, corporate officers and directors can be held personally liable for corporate violations of CASL. In addition, CASL provides that employers can be held liable for violations committed by their employees or agents acting within the scope of their employment or authority. Accordingly, it is critical that all sender’s employees, agents, officers and directors be trained in CASL compliance to avoid such liability.