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Canada’s anti-spam law: it’s getting closer every day

The latest info from Industry Canada has the new anti-spam legislation coming into force in early 2012. The consultation period is over, and the government will now finalize the regulations that organizations will have to follow.

The Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (or the Electronic Commerce Protection Act) is among the broadest and strictest anti-spam laws in the world, and mandates significant penalties for contravention. The law is broad in two key ways: it covers activities beyond email, and it applies to all types of organizations and individuals. Any individual or organization that sends commercial electronic messages must be aware of its obligations under this new legislation.

The final regulations will not be available for several months, but the law and the draft regulations offer plenty of insight into what organizations will have to do to prepare for the law and comply.

You can read my overview and assessment on HRinfodesk (subscription required).

Jenny Lee at the Vancouver Sun provides a list of good practices that should keep small organizations on the right side of the law:

  1. Ask for permission to communicate with your contacts.
  2. Be specific about what they’re signing up for.
  3. Post your privacy policy, address and phone number in all emails.
  4. Remind recipients why they are receiving an email from you.
  5. Don’t communicate too often.
  6. Monitor responses.
  7. Make it easy for subscribers to change their profile, interests and preferences.
  8. Monitor “unsubscribes”.
  9. Ask for feedback.
  10. Beware of email lists for sale.

Click through to the article for details.

In related news, Amanda Green writes in Direct Marketing News that United States businesses that are already compliant with the US CAN-SPAM Act will likely find that they also comply with the upcoming Canadian anti-spam law. However, marketers that aren’t fully compliant with the American law will likely have cause for concern when it comes to Canadian email marketing efforts.

Adam Gorley
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor

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Adam Gorley

Adam Gorley is a copywriter, editor and researcher at First Reference. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, Inside Internal Controls and other First Reference publications. He writes about general HR issues, accessibility, privacy, technology in the workplace, accommodation, violence and harassment, internal controls and more. Read more
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