Get Ready for Canada's New Anti-Spam Law

Get Ready for Canada's New Anti-Spam Law

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Canada's New Anti-Spam Law

At SimplyCast, just saying the word "spam" will get you a dirty look. We hate it, we fight against it and we do everything we can to prevent your online marketing from becoming it.

This is why we want to get your ready for Canada's new anti-spam law that is sneaking up on us very quickly.

Not to worry though if you use SimplyCast because we already enforce best practices and work with clients who don't before removing them.

Canada's new anti-spam law

The anti-spam law does not come into force until early 2013, but the country's telecom watchdog (CRTC) is urging companies to start making sure that their practices are legit and up to snuff so to speak.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) put out two bulletins recently that provided companies with examples of acceptable practices in the use of commercial electronic messages and promotions.

So we had our compliance team go over everything to break what every business needs to know before the new law begins.

What every business needs to know

The Parliament of Canada passed a new anti-spam law in December 2010, which is to come into force in 2013.

Once this legislation is in force, it will:

1. Help reduce unwanted emails from appearing in consumers' inboxes by requiring companies to gain their consent to receive commercial electronic messages.

2. Protect businesses and consumers alike by helping deter the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam or other electronic threats from occurring in Canada.

When the new law is in force, it will prohibit:

1. Sending commercial electronic messages, including messages to email addresses and text messages to a cell phone, without the recipient's express or implied consent.

2. Installation of computer programs on another person's computer system without the express consent of the owner of the computer system or its agent, such as an authorized employee.

3. Use of false or misleading electronic representations in the promotion of products, services or business interests.

4. Collection of personal information through accessing a computer system in violation of federal law (e.g. the Criminal Code of Canada).5. Collection of electronic addresses by the use of computer programs or the use of such addresses, without permission, a practice known as address harvesting.

What is acceptable

1. Obtaining proper consent

Specific requests for consent must be clearly identifiable to the user and indicate that the user's consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent can be obtained orally or in writing and must be positive and explicit. In other words, it must be "opt-in".

Acceptable: An icon or an empty toggle box that must be actively clicked or checked.

Not Acceptable: An opt-out mechanism (i.e. un-checking a pre-checked box); a CEM (commercial electronic message)  in the form of a subscription email, text message, or another equivalent form to request express consent

2. How you use unsubscribe mechanisms

The unsubscribe mechanism must be consumer-friendly, simple, easy-to-use, and must be set out clearly and prominently. Under the regulations, it must be capable of being "readily performed".

Email Example: A link takes the user to a web page where he or she can unsubscribe from receiving all or some types of CEMs from the sender.

SMS Example: The user should have the choice between clicking a link, or replying to the SMS with the word "STOP" or "Unsubscribe".

Take the time to learn more

If you would like to learn more about this new law, the federal government has set up a website, that posts information about spam and other electronic threats, including definitions, frequently asked questions about the law, and tips for protecting your computer and email accounts.

You can also contact our customer care team and they can give you more information and how it relates to your SimplyCast account and the sending you do for your business.

Don't wait until the law has already passed to be ready. Start by looking over your marketing practices for sending email marketing and take action on any that need changing.

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