I have spoken to people with small businesses and their greatest fear is making a wrong move and having someone sue them, invoking the legislation. Wow – can you imagine building a business from nothing and having it all disappear because someone sued you for emailing something? Luckily the government has some “plain English” notes on the matter for you to peruse. The following facts are provided by the Federal Government to help make things clearer..
Fact: You can continue to use email if you have express or implied consent from recipients. During the 36-month transition period, you can continue to use your current email list if
- you have previously provided your products or services to them and
- they haven't told you to stop.
Fact: It is not illegal to send commercial electronic messages, but you need consent.
CASL applies to emails, text and instant messages, and any similar messages sent to electronic addresses. CASL does not apply to promotional information you post online in places like blogs or social media.
Fact: Businesses that already comply with privacy laws and use common best practices for email marketing will require little effort to comply with CASL. The 36-month transitional provision provides time to adjust and seek express consent from pre-existing clients.
Fact: No law will eliminate all spam, including that from overseas. CASL allows Canadian enforcement against spammers operating in Canada.
Fact: There are no automatic penalties. The CRTC has a range of enforcement tools available, from warnings to penalties (up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses).
Fact: Express consent received before July 1, 2014 remains valid and does not expire until the recipient withdraws it.
Please check out the government’s website for more information: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/casl-lcap.htm