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CRTC Anti-Spam Regulations Finalized

March 14, 2012

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (the "CRTC") has finalized its regulations to Canada's Anti-Spam Law ("CASL").  Industry Canada has not yet released a revised draft of its separate CASL regulations, but is expected to do so shortly.

The Electronic Commerce Regulations (CRTC) (the "CRTC Regulations") represent the final version of the regulations posted by the CRTC for comment last summer.  Among other things, the CRTC Regulations set out details on the content and unsubscribe mechanism to be included in each commercial electronic message, as well as the requirements for a valid express consent under CASL.

Key changes to the CRTC Regulations include:

  • The draft regulations previously required a valid express consent to be "in writing". The final CRTC Regulations now permit express consent to be obtained "orally or in writing".

  • The final CRTC Regulations have lessened the amount of contact information required to be included in each commercial electronic message, and in requests for express consent.

    • The draft regulations required the physical and mailing address, telephone number, email address, web address and any other electronic address. Under the final CRTC Regulations, an organization is now only required to provide the mailing address, and either a telephone number, email or web address.

  • Requests for express consent are no longer required to indicate that an individual can withdraw their consent using the specifically listed contact information.  Rather, a request for express consent must state that "the person whose consent is sought can withdraw their consent".

  • The draft regulations required that an unsubscribe mechanism be "performed in no more than two clicks or another method of equivalent efficiency". The final CRTC Regulations are more technologically neutral and require that an unsubscribe mechanism must be able to be "readily performed".

A detailed overview of the CRTC Regulations and other CASL developments will be provided on the next AccessPrivacy Monthly Call on March 28, 2012.  Full details about CASL can be obtained on the AccessPrivacy Private Sector Source.

AccessPrivacy will also be holding a CPO Forum Workshop on the CRTC Regulations and the Industry Canada draft regulations approximately 10 business days after the publication of the new draft Industry Canada regulations.  The purpose of the event will be to assess the impact of the new regulations and to help crystallize comments that interested parties may be making in respect of the Industry Canada regulations. More information about this event will be coming soon.  Find out more about our AccessPrivacy CPO Forum .

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