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Canada’s anti-spam law: not as close as we thought?

anti-spam imageLast fall, Industry Canada wanted to see Canada’s new anti-spam legislation in force by early 2012, when the regulations were complete. Industry Canada and the CRTC prepared final regulations, but the former are undergoing a second round of consultation. Eva Chan at law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP: “Revised regulations from Industry Canada are expected to be published soon.”

Bernice Karn writes in the Cassels Brock Report: “in a speech given on April 24, 2012, the Minister of Industry remarked that the anti-spam legislation is expected to take effect next year.”

Karn attributes the delay to the government “attempting to address the many concerns expressed by stakeholders about this new law.” The initial consultations led to a variety of important changes:

These Regulations clarified and streamlined the information required in a “commercial electronic message,” replaced the “two-click” unsubscribe requirement with the requirement that the unsubscribe mechanism “be able to be readily performed” and confirmed that requests for consent could be obtained orally. Unfortunately, it did not go so far as to state that “in writing” requests for consent could include electronic requests such as may be available on a website for subscription to an email feed.

So, as always, be prepared. Jenny Lee at the Vancouver Sun provides a list of good practices that should keep small organizations on the right side of the law.

Take the FightSpam quiz!

Here’s one small and easy step toward preparation. The federal government has introduced a quick quiz to help businesses and individuals understand the risks associated with spam, malware and unsecured mobile devices. It’s certainly worth the five minutes it’ll take to complete, and it might provide just the impetus to get you started on your electronic messaging and mobile strategies.

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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