The Current State of CASL - Don't Blame Us - We're Marketers...

Since the postponement on June 8th of the private right of action section of the CASL law, a number of clients have contacted me asking if they are now off the hook in terms of needing to be CASL compliant by July 1st.  The simple answer is NO.  The private of action is only one section of the law.  Make no mistake, the CRTC began enforcing July 1, 2014 and continues to do so today and in the future. If you are not compliant today you are indeed violating the law.

Let me explain the implications of the specific decision around the private right of action. For 90% of the organizations in Canada the postponement of the private right of action announced by Minister Bains on June 8 has no material affect. The leading 10% of the brands who send a ton of email were always most at risk.

Fact is some small business in Sweaburg, Ontario would have likely never seen a class action lawsuit over their email practices even if the PRA had come into force on July 1 as planned. Minister Bain's actions were very responsible.
The average consumer gets an email form a well-known brand and says, " I am going to collect my $200" by joining a class action lawsuit that they read about in the newspaper or online. They are basing this action on the fact that they did not give this brand their consent. So far, so good.

But they are not likely aware that that brand meets the measures of IMPLIED CONSENT under CASL are legally sending emails.

Multiply this by hundreds of emails to millions of people taking unnecessary action causing chaos and frivolous lawsuits that would have been a serious distraction for many of our largest organizations in Canada. The small legal firms who launch the class action suits, the large legal firms who would be bought in to help defend their clients, and the management team distractions would all lead to a lot of wasted dollars for very little return. And to his credit, Minister Bains listened to a call for fairness and order.

The rest of the CASL legislation is...

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