It's been nearly a year since the full implementation of CASL. Canadian companies have had a long time to get used to the new rules, and while they seem simple to follow, apparently they're not.
Porter Airlines is the latest company to face a hefty fine under CASL for violations of the Canadian Anti Spam Legislation. $150,000 is not a small amount of money. What were their transgressions?
- Sending emails with no unsubscribe mechanism.
- Sending emails with obscure unsubscribe mechanisms.
- Not providing complete contact information in their emails.
- Taking longer than 10 days to process unsubscribe requests.
- Not being able to prove consent had been granted for each electronic address they sent email to.
Compliance with CASL is relatively easy, but also challenging. Entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to falling afoul of CASL because they will not necessarily be able to prove consent was granted for every email address on their list. When you meet someone at a networking function and exchange business cards, if you want to add them to your CASL-compliant mailing list you are supposed to have some form of consent on record. Asking for consent is allowed, but technically, the response needs to be recorded. Ouch.
It is my opinion that larger companies will continue to be nailed for CASL violations while small businesses and entrepreneurs will likely continue to operate under the CASL radar for the forseeable future. That being said, CASL is the law of the land, so ensuring you've done what you can to be compliant is in your best interest.