Within the next year, new legislation regarding email marketing will come into force in Canada. Bill C-28 is Canada’s anti-spam legislation. As stated in the bill, it will regulate “certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities.”
This law doesn’t just apply to marketers in Canada. It applies to all companies distributing commercial emails to, through, and from Canada. Marketers will need to use an ‘opt-in’ policy. Failure to obtain consent from recipients prior to distributing commercial emails can lead to considerable fines and potential class action suits.
This new act attempts to deter spam. According to Industry Canada, spam is “any electronic message sent without the express or implied consent of the recipient(s).” Spam is also used as “the vehicle for the delivery of other online threats such as spyware, phishing and malware.”
In addition, this law prohibits the alteration of transmission data, as well as the installation of a computer program with computer systems and networks without permission.
Employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees if the actions are within the scope of the employers’ authority. Be sure to plan for the upcoming changes now so that you aren’t caught off-guard later. In other words, if you’re sending out commercial email, make sure that it is permission based – and best practices dictate that subscriber lists are double opt-in.
A complete legislative summary of Bill C-28 can be found here.