An Early Canada (Anti Spam Legislation) Day Gift! CASL Private Right of Action Repealed
June 7, 2017
By Trent Skanes, Partner at McInnes Cooper,
David Fraser, Privacy Lawyer | Partner at McInnes Cooper
On June 7, 2017, the federal government repealed the regulations that would have brought into effect the sections of Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) implementing a private right of action – the ability to sue in a civil court for a CASL violation – scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2017. Organizations and individuals are now relieved of this significant non-compliance risk, but not all non-compliance risks: CASL still authorizes significant consequences for individuals and organizations that don’t comply, and the grace period for implied consent still ends on July 1, 2017.
Non-Compliance Penalties. The federal government’s move doesn’t just delay implementation of CASL’s private right of action provisions; it repeals them – though the government can flip the switch back on at any time. But individuals and organizations must still comply because CASL authorizes several penalties for non-compliance beyond the (now repealed) private right of action.
Implied Consent Grace Period Ends July 1, 2017. CASL provided for a transitional period during which senders of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) could rely on “old” implied consent from either existing business relationships, or existing non-business relationships, for three years (July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2017). Implied consent still re-triggers for a two year period every time a receiver does anything that demonstrates the presence of certain types of “existing business relationships” (e.g. contracts, purchase of services, acceptance of opportunities) or for 6 months after receiving inquiries; implied consent is also available when the recipient has disclosed or conspicuously published their contact information, have not indicated a wish not to receive messages and the message is relevant to their business roles/functions. Of course, as a best practice or in cases of uncertainty, senders might still want to send a compliant CEM to their contacts before July 1, 2017 asking for express consent (which never expires)..
Please contact your McInnes Cooper lawyer or any member of the CASL Team @ McInnes Cooper to discuss this topic or any other legal issue.
McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only; it is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult McInnes Cooper about your unique circumstances before acting on this information. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in this document and any use you make of it.
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