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Be cautious with third party CASL product/service offerings

Have you seen any advertisements or promotional materials by marketing or other companies that claim they can provide you with full protection against CASL?

Recently, I’ve noticed that some companies are promoting themselves as being able to provide protection against CASL, including CASL “fines”.

First, Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) does not contain “fines”.  CASL contains something called Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs).  These are, legally speaking, different from fines, and knowing the distinction is important.

Second, no tools, solutions, resources, or other product or service offerings being sold by third parties can ensure that a buyer of such offerings will be fully protected against CRTC CASL enforcement actions or, starting July 1, 2017, private legal actions (including possible class action lawsuits).

CASL is a complex piece of legislation, and it contains many sections that remain open to legal interpretation.  Until more guidance is provided by CASL’s enforcement regulator, the CRTC, and/or Canada’s courts, a definitive interpretation of what CASL means and how it will be applied and interpreted cannot and does not exist.  Buyers of third party product or service offerings should be aware of this.

Some third parties are even offering to issue their customers a seal of CASL certification that the customers can use on their websites and in their emails.  If the customers want to continue to use the third party’s CASL certification seal after a short initial period of time, the customers have to pay a monthly licensing fee.  Buyer beware!

About the author

J. Andrew Sprague

To learn more about J. Andrew Sprague, please visit his biography located at http://millerthomson.com/en/our-people/j-andrew-sprague.

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