The federal government has introduced a website dedicated to its new anti-spam law, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act. The website, Fightspam.gc.ca, describes the provisions of the law and its purposes, and outlines how organizations and individuals can make sure they abide by the law and protect themselves from spam and other electronic threats.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, the law prohibits:
- Sending commercial electronic messages without the recipient’s consent, including messages to email addresses and social networking accounts, and text messages to cellphones
- Altering transmission data in an electronic message, which results in the message being delivered to a different destination without express consent
- Installing computer programs without the express consent of the owner of the computer system or its agent, such as an authorized employee
- Using false or misleading representations online in the promotion of products or services
- Collecting personal information through accessing a computer system in violation of federal law (e.g., the Criminal Code of Canada)
- Collecting electronic addresses by the use of computer programs or the use of such addresses, without permission (address harvesting)
Since the regulations exist only in draft form at the moment, the website doesn’t offer a clear path to compliance. That said, the site does contain useful information, including a set of answers to frequently asked questions, such as “Who needs to know about this law?” and “What is a commercial electronic message?” Definitely worth a look.
Organizations can still comment on the draft regulations until September 7. And the government has announced that it expects the Act to come into force in early 2012.
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor