Canadian anti-spam Act (Bill C-28): how to deal with it?

This article aims to educate you on Bill C-28, which will come into effect on July 1, 2014. This new law, which has been established by the Government of Canada, was created to deter and reduce unwanted emails known as spam. However, all companies must comply.

According to the Industry Canada website: The purpose of the law is to “discourage the sending of spam in Canada, in the most dangerous and deceptive of forms, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware, and help clamp down on spammers in Canada. ”

There are two types of consent: implicit and explicit.

Qualified communication based on implied consent is excluded by this law. It includes, the response to a request from a client, the confirmation of a transaction, factual information on products purchased and information messages requested.

Furthermore, individuals who receive unsolicited emails will have up to 3 years to file a complaint.  When a complaint is made, the company that sent the e-mail will have to provide proof. To protect themselves, it is important to retain written proof of consent or a phone recording that confirms that the person indeed wishes to receive communication from the company.

The explicit consent, such as subscribing to newsletters, promotional emails, surveys, invitations to competitions and other communication, will require verification with subscribers in order to know if they still want to receive communication from the company.

Preparation is important

To properly prepare, we suggest that you identify if the consents are implicit or explicit, to work on your methods of collecting original data and, create a database that centralizes the information.

To acquire the consent in a delicate manner, we can put in effect “opts-in” (a confirmation of consent via email), contests, discount offers, etc.. These are original methods for collecting data, and they are effective!

On the other hand, it is very important to centralize the information in order to preserve the evidence received in a single, secure location. For example, the information could be entered in an Excel file with a master key. This would make it a lot quicker to find a particular client.

Finally, I would like to mention that this document is not legal advice and should you require more information, a public notary or a lawyer could advise you.

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