Canadian Regulators Get Serious on Spam – Issue C$1.1M Fine

crtc-logoThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC’s) Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer recently issued a Notice of Violation to Compu-Finder, which includes a penalty of $1.1 million, for breaking Canada’s anti-spam law. Compu-Finder has 30 days to submit written representations to the CRTC or pay the penalty.  It also has the option of requesting an undertaking with the CRTC on this matter.

The CRTC indicated that Compu-Finder had sent commercial emails without consent, as well as messages in which the unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly.

It is one of the first major fines issued under Canada’s new spam law which came into effect last July 1.

Prior to the coming into force of the anti-spam law, the CRTC conducted numerous outreach initiatives to increase the awareness of businesses on the new requirements. Creating a secure online environment for Canadians is also the responsibility of industry. Despite the CRTC’s efforts, Compu-Finder flagrantly violated the basic principles of the law by continuing to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages after the law came into force to email addresses it found by scouring websites. Complaints submitted to the Spam Reporting Centre clearly indicate that consumers didn’t find Compu-Finder’s offerings relevant to them.  By issuing this Notice of Violation, my goal is to encourage a change of behaviour on the part of Compu-Finder such that it adapts its business practices to the modern reality of electronic commerce and the requirements of the anti-spam law. We take violations to the law very seriously and expect businesses to be in compliance.

Manon Bombardier, Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Clearly the Canadians are serious about spam when their chief enforcement officer is named Bombardier.