In the next year, Canada is expected to enact new legislation restricting the use of consumer data for marketing purposes. But most US marketers are unaware of the new law and the potential fines associated with noncompliance, according to a survey from international business law firm Fasken Martineau.
Bill C-28, Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (or "CASL", formerly known as the Electronic Commerce Protection Act and the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act) was finalized on December 15, 2010 and is expected to become law by early 2013.
Among US marketers surveyed, 57.6% said they were unaware of the new act. Moreover, 68.5% of those surveyed—including 23.6% of those aware of the new law—did not know they could be fined for sending unsolicited email to Canada:
Fasken Martineau ascribed such lack of awareness to a lack of mainstream media coverage about the law.
The legislation, which requires an opt-in policy rather than an opt-out policy, affects US (and other) marketers who send commercial emails to, via, or from Canada. Failing to gain permission from recipients before sending email may result in millions of dollars in damages and may bring class action lawsuits, according to the law firm.
Below, additional findings from Fasken Martineau's Canadian Anti-Spam Act Survey.
CASL legislation is not the same as 'Do Not Call' legislation in the US