The CASL Strikes: Blackstone Gets Hit With Fine

The Canadian Radio-television and Tele-communications Commission (CRTC) recently issued an enforcement decision regarding Blackstone Learning Corp.’s violation of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL). The CRTC fined Blackstone $50,000 for sending 400,000 unsolicited commercial emails without the required consent from the individuals.

casl

What Is Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation?

CASL went into effect on July 1, 2014 and was originally labeled the toughest anti-spam law in the world. Since the law went into effect, there has been relatively little news surrounding spam violations until now.

What This Means For Lead Generation Companies (U.S. Companies Included)

The Blackstone decision is one of the first examples of the CRTC taking action against violators and indicates that similar actions may increase in the near future. An important note is that CASL can be enforced against the individual owners, executives and agents of a business specifically, not merely the business as a whole. Although CASL is a Canadian law, its rules and restrictions apply to anyone sending emails to Canadian email addresses. This means that even U.S. companies could face similar enforcement actions to those Blackstone received.

How To Avoid Issues

The solution is and will always be complete compliance. If you don’t have the proper opt-in verbiage attached to your forms or if you purchase lists from a 3rd party, you cannot protect yourself or ensure that each of your purchased email addresses are not Canadian. One of the reasons the CASL is so tough is that even if you follow the rules, you could find yourself in some sticky situations. When confronted with violation accusations, the burden of proof falls on the email marketer. Even if your subscription process is completely compliant, how can you prove that each Canadian address that you email gave consent?

What’s The Solution

Although we hope you never encounter the scenario outlined above, there are ways to protect yourself that we highly recommend. boberdoo recently released the beta version of it’s LeadQC Certificates. This tool automatically takes a snapshot of your web page as the user fills it out, which you can use as proof of every single opt-in you receive. If you’re interested in using this service, please let us know.

boberdoo.com has been building lead distribution software since 2001. We have seen so many new regulations hit the online marketing space and continue to do everything we can to help our clients stay compliant and protect their businesses. If you’d like more information about LeadQC Certificates, please give us a call at 800-776-5646 or fill out the form below.

This article was written to help inform you about the Canadian Anti Spam Law and how it may affect you. It is by no means meant to be taken as legal advice. For any specifics regarding your current email practices, we strongly encourage you to seek legal counsel. 

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