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Canada enacts new 'anti-spam' bill

July 3, 2014
New Canadian "anti-spam" legislation (CASL) enacted July 1 prohibits a commercial email, text or other electronic message to a Canadian recipient without prior express permission. In addition, the Canadian law requires any such messages to prominently identify the sender and include contact information, along with a way to unsubscribe. 
What is deemed to be a "commercial" email is broadly defined and the potential penalties are very large (up to $10 million). The requirements under the CASL are different and broader than those under the U.S. "CAN SPAM" law. In addition, the CASL applies not only to email, but also to text messages, and certain other electronic messages sent to Canadian email addresses, including those sent via social media, blogs, or other electronic communications platforms.
 
There are a number of exceptions as well as questions about the applicability of the new law to entities outside of Canada. However, U.S. dealers, especially dealers near Canada or with a large number of Canadian customers, are encouraged to review the CASL and discuss it with their legal counsel. 
 
The Canadian Auto Dealers Association prepared a detailed review of the CASL here.
 

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