There’s a reason why Canadian email accounts have been flooded by requests from companies and organizations that want to retain their contacts this spring. Canada’s new anti-spam legislation and regulations came into force on July 1st, 2014.
Almost 70% of all email circulating in the world is spam and it’s estimated the cost the Canadian economy is over $3 billion a year. Simply stated, the Canadian government takes the position that their citizens should not receive email they don’t want or did not ask to receive. That’s why Canada is moving from an opt out model ie. implied consent to an opt in model ie. express consent. Express consent received before July 1, 2014, remains valid and does not expire until the recipient withdraws it.
Implied consent is only considered valid for a period of two years after the consent is granted. And no type of organization, including charities and not-for-profit organizations, is exempt from the Canadian anti-spam law,
The new legislation (CASL) was developed to deal with electronic spam and has two main objectives:1. To limit the ability of companies to send emails that are unwanted and unasked for;2. To prohibit and control unwanted downloads of programs onto people’s computers.
CASL requires businesses to acquire express consent from customers to communicate with them, and the burden of proof re: proving consent lies with the sender. No matter where your business is located if you are targeting a Canadian market with a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM), CASL applies, as the law expands information sharing with all G7 countries, or countries that have similar anti-spamming laws.
The new legislation (CASL) prohibits the sending of commercial electronic messages without the recipient’s consent (permission), including messages to email addresses and social networking accounts, and text messages sent to a cell phone; … click here for more Fast Facts on the prohibitions and penalties.
Commercial Electronic Messages are Legion
Electronic marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email and/or direct messaging group of people registered on media platforms. Electronic marketing is big business.
Email address lists and social media friends and followers lists have become assets that are bought and sold. That’s why we see so many publications with words to the effect of “your email list is your biggest asset“. It’s also why publisher’s agents advise authors with books to sell to increase up their social media followers and provide newsletter subscriptions and/or free content.
Annoying In your face subscription boxes that pop-up before you have even read an article are commonly found on many sites, and that’s not to mention the annoying toolbars and pop-under bars masquerading as sharing aids. On some sites every article published has a subscription link to click in addition to the pop-up and po-under subscription options and, of course, almost every site has one of the the ubiquitous subscription widgets in the sidebar.
Offering special deals or free content or launching discount campaigns featuring price reductions to those who will be first to purchase, and to those who will share commercial email and social network messages on their websites, and/or with their friends/followers on social media is commonplace. Embedded affiliate links are also found in article after article.
Making a single purchase on any shopping site can result in being spammed repeatedly, simply because the opt-in language cleverly disguises the fact that the email address being requested will not be used solely used for that one transaction.