Changes to Canadian federal privacy law include anti-spam laws

As of July 2014, the federal privacy law specifically states regulations against email spamming. This legislation is known as Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) and it refers to the law against spam and other electronic threats.

Enforcing such laws belongs to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the federal Competition Bureau.  It entails everything related to the harvesting of electronic addresses as well as the illicit collection of personal information.

Regarding harvesting of email addresses, the law covers all organizations that engage in the activity of colleting emails indiscriminately through the use of computer programs.  Organizations then must make sure that any email address collected from their commercial activity has been collected with the owner’s consent.

It is recommended that companies then take care of the deals agreed upon with third parties regarding the collection of email addresses. Basically, the law tries to prevent citizens from receiving emails from organizations they did not sign up for - which is why companies should make sure that the emails they are sending are sent to people who, as a response of a marketing campaign or such, consented to the reception of such emails. 

Even when a company has hired a third party to collect emails for marketing purposes, the law recommends that a follow-up is made to users.  Plus, the organization must inform recipients what the purpose of having their email collected is. An email is personal information and, therefore, cannot be dealt with lightly. 

Besides all this, if any person in a company´s marketing list decides to withdraw from such list, they should not receive any more emails from such organization.  Of course, companies should provide a clear path for anyone who decides to remove themselves from marketing campaign lists. 

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