The Secure Times

An online forum of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Privacy and Information Security Committee

Draft Regulations Issued for Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

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The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) and Industry Canada both recently published draft regulations, referred to as the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations, under the authority of the anti-spam legislation enacted last year. The legislation, which is now being referred to as “Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation” (“CASL” or “the Act”), is available here. In addition to amending several existing laws, CASL specifically establishes rules for sending commercial electronic messages (“CEMs”) to recipients in Canada and prohibits sending CEMs to electronic addresses without the recipient’s prior express or implied consent.
 
CASL has a wide scope, especially when compared to CANSPAM in the United States. CASL covers all “commercial electronic messages” sent to an “electronic address,” not only email communications. “Electronic message” is defined to mean a message sent over any means of telecommunications, including text, sound, voice or image, and “electronic address” is defined to cover email, instant messaging, text messages, and messages to “any similar account,” which could include social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
 
            The CRTC’s regulations: (1) prescribe the form and required information to be included in a CEM; (2) specify that a clear and prominent link to the required information can be used where it is not practicable to include all information in the CEM (e.g., character limited CEMs); and (3) the information required to be in a request for express consent to send CEMs. The CRTC notice announcing the regulations is available here. Comments can be submitted to the CRTC through August 29, 2011
 
            Industry Canada’s regulations: (1) define the meaning of personal relationship and family relationship under the Act; (2) prescribe the requirements allowing an individual to withdraw consent which was given to a third party; and (3) provide definitions related to implied consent based upon an “existing non-business relationship.” Industry Canada’s proposed regulations are available here. Comments can be submitted to Industry Canada through September 7, 2011. 
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Author: Eric Whisler

Associate at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

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