Canada’s Spam Law Now In Effect
Although passed in December 2010, the Canadian law went through a regulatory maze and did not go into effect until July 1 (which is also Canada Day) 2014.
The new law prohibits
- sending of commercial electronic messages without the recipient’s express consent, including messages to email addresses and social networking accounts, and text messages sent to a cell phone;
- alteration of transmission data in an electronic message which results in the message being delivered to a different destination without express consent
- use of false or misleading representations online in the promotion of products or services;
- collection of personal information through accessing a computer system in violation of federal law ; and
- collection of electronic addresses by the use of computer programs or the use of such addresses, without permission (address harvesting).
The law establishes damages of $200 for email violation up to $1 million per day.
Private Right of Action Not Until 2017
The law phases in some key provisions, including:
- a prohibition that addresses the unauthorized installation of computer programs or use of a bot to send email from another computer (January 2015); and
- a private right of action which may proceed only if no governmental action (July 1, 2017).
In addition, a company has 36-months to convert implied consents based on a prior business relationship to express consents..
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