Anti-Spam Law: Comparing CASL to CAN-SPAM


If you operate or have customers in the U.S. market, you are already likely familiar with the requirements of the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act, introduced in 2003. If your operations or customers extend into Canada, however, there are new Canadian Anti-Spam rules you need to know. Why? Because these new rules will impact how you engage in online communications in Canada, starting in 2013.

The SlideShare presentation below provides an overview of the key differences between Canada’s new Anti-Spam Law, CASL, and CAN-SPAM. Here are a few:

• Broader application: CASL also applies not only to e-mail, but also to IM, text and more. It also covers more activities, including the installation of computer programs.

• Clear reach outside Canada: CASL expressly applies to messages “accessed from a computer system in Canada”. This means that a message can be sent from outside Canada.

• Higher standard for consent: “Opt-in” consent for CASL versus “Opt-out” for CAN-SPAM.

• Higher penalties: $10 million maximum penalty for an organization that contravenes CASL.

The implications of this:

• More online activities will be caught by CASL.

• More activities affecting Canadians will be caught by CASL, even if initiated outside Canada.

• More steps will be needed under CASL to be permitted to communicate online.

• Overall, there is greater exposure to liability under CASL.

Learn more about CASL, including what steps to take now to avoid liability.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Margot Patterson, FMC Law | Attorney Advertising

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