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CASL Penalties: Know Them So You Can Avoid Them

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CASL (Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation) comes into effect on July 1, 2014. Penalties for not complying with CASL will be harsh. CASL penalties are intended to deter companies from sending spam or sending messages to contacts who have not provided their consent.

In order to avoid these penalties, it is important to understand CASL and to ensure that all your communications are CASL-compliant. The easiest way to learn more about CASL and how it will affect your business is to sign up for our free daily interactive CASL webinar. Our expert Compliance Manager has five years of experience and can guide you through the new legislation. It's a great way to prepare your entire staff for CASL.

We also have blog posts and FAQs to help you navigate CASL.

So how about those penalties?

How are penalties enforced?

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will issue the offending business or individual a Notice of Violation. Offending parties can be charged per violation, and each additional day of non-compliance may result in an increased penalty.

If you receive a Notice of Violation, you are able to challenge it. You can dispute whether or not the violation happened and you can also dispute the amount of the penalty.

The maximum penalty may not be enforced for the first CASL violation. The CRTC determines how penalties are enforced.

What are the maximum penalties for CASL violations?

The maximum penalty for an individual is $1 million. The maximum penalty for a business is $10 million. Penalties for violations are to be determined by a judge.

What other types of penalties may be incurred?

In addition to the established CASL penalties, individuals are able to bring a private civil action against the offending party for damages caused. These private penalties may be awarded to the offending party in addition to a separate CASL penalty.

In addition to monetary penalties, your business reputation will suffer if you are violating CASL. Your customers may lose trust in your business and may not feel safe sharing their private contact information with you. This will ultimately increase customer churn and reduce revenue.

If someone else is sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) for my business, can I still get a fine?

If you are using another business for your marketing communication, you need to ensure that they are sending CASL compliant communication. You can receive CASL penalties even if your messages are technically sent by another business, because you are responsible for the messages.

Any tips for avoiding CASL penalties?

Learn about the new legislation. Sign up for our free interactive CASL webinar. Ensure that you review your communications, update your data and prepare your staff.

Keep a detailed record of your contacts' consent. If you are hit with a CASL violation, the burden of proof for consent will be on you. Whenever a customer provides consent to contact them with CEMs, record this information and make sure it is easily accessible when you need it.

Once again, you can sign up for the CASL webinar, which is run daily by our compliance experts from Monday to Friday.

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