On July 1, 2014, a new Anti-Spam legislation took effect in Canada. So for all our Canadian clients, and well everyone else for that matter, listen up.
Here's the synopsis of the act:
"An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act."
What does this all mean?
You will only be able to send electronic messages to people that have given their expressed or implied consent for messages to be sent to. The person (you) sending the message must clearly identify who you are (as well as who the person is you're sending the message on behalf of i.e company name), where the message is coming from, and have an unsubscribe option that clearly states what people are unsubscribing to. Additionally, there must be some form of contact information inside the email for recipients to be able to contact the sender. The sending address MUST be valid for 60 days after the email has been sent.
So what to do?
Your emails will now legally only be able to go out to those who explicitly opt-in to receive correspondence from you. For existing customers, they need only to unsubscribe if they wish to no longer be notified. An unsubscribe button, clearly indicating what the recipient is unsubscribing to as well as a redirect to a webpage that will allow them to unsubscribe. Contact information of the sender must be present on any and all emails.
Pro marketers only
What users should do is apply whatever link is appropriate (whether it be sending subscribers to a form or URL) that can be connected to a Campaign Activity rule on an automation track to tag or move a recipient to a specific list if they click that link.
- emails that are sent to recipients that have a personal or family relationship with the sender
- emails that go out giving a quote or estimate that was previously requested
- confirmation of a commercial transaction
- someone who is already engaged in a commercial activity with the sender
- emails providing warranty information
- emails providing factual information about ongoing use of a product, goods, service or subscription
- delivers a product, goods or a service, including product updates or upgrades
- person who has an existing business relationship with the sender
- person who the message has been sent to has conspicuously given their electronic address, and there is no attached statement declaring not to contact the person AND the message is related to a person's business, role, function or duties in a business or official capacity
Existing business relationship means:
- person who has purchased or leased a product, good, service, land or an interest of right in land, within two-years of when the electronic message was sent
- acceptance by the person of who the message is being sent to of a business, investment or gaming opportunity
- bartering of anything mentioned in the other 2 bullets
- written contract entered between the recipient and sender; currently or within the two-year period
- inquiry of application, within the six-month period immediately before the day when the message was sent, made by the recipient to any other person, in respect to any of the first 3 bullets.
*Note: Is a person has an existing business relationship with another person, and the business is sold, the person who buys the business will now have an existing business relationship with these recipients
Exceptions for Telecommunication providers:
Two-way voice communication that, in whole or in part, are:
- messages that are voice recordings sent by telephone account
- facsmiles sent by a telephone account
You will not be able to alter transmission data in an electronic message so that the message is delivered to a destination other than by the sender unless you have expressed consent of the sender or sendee or alteration is made by a court order.
To install computer programs on a terminal, the owner must have the consent of the person who will be using the computer program. Translation, you will need the consent of your employees to download computer programs (meaning us) onto their computers. Additionally, the employee will need the consent of the employer to be able to send electronic messages. This only applies to employees/employers working WITHIN Canada.
Employers must notify employees of the functionality of the computer program (what INBOX25 does), and the employee must give consent to use it. Functions that need to be clearly identified are as follows:
- collecting personal information stored on the computer system
- interfering with an authorized user's control of the system (or owner)
- changing or interfering with settings, preferences or commands already installed or stored on the computer system without the knowledge of the user or owner
- changing or interfering with data stored on the system in a manner that obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful access to data by owner or authorized user
- causing computer system to interact with other computer systems without authorization or owner or user of that computer system
- installing computer programs that may be activated by a third party without the knowledge of the owner or authorized user
A person is giving expressed consent to the installation of the ocmputer program if the program is:
- a cookie
- html code
- java script
- operating system
- any other program that is executable only through the use of another computer program whose installation the person has already given expressed consent to
In short: The law will ban posting commercial messages without the recipient's consent, installing unwanted computer programs, sharing emails without the owner's consent, marketing unsolicited products online, acquiring personal information using computer programs.
However, if you post your email address online, and there is a reasonable implication to be marketed to, then you can. Example, a dental equipment company contacting a dentist that has put up their information online. You'll need to give your recipients clear means to unsubscribe/subscribe. You'll need to have direct contact information for your recipients. Remember, this applies to those who conduct business inside Canada, are located in Canada, or have electronic transmissions that go through Canada. For complete listing of CASL, you can go to the CASL legislation in full here