Porter Airlines Inc. has agreed to pay the amount of $150,000 as part of an Undertaking concerning alleged violations of paragraphs 6(1)(a), 6(2)(b) and 6(2)(c) and non-compliance with paragraph 11(1)(b) and subsection 11(3) of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), as well as non-compliance with subsection 2(2) and section 3 of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations (CRTC), during the period of 1 July 2014 to 16 April 2015, inclusively. The Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer’s investigation alleged that Porter Airlines Inc. sent certain commercial electronic messages, on its own behalf, that contained an unsubscribe mechanism that was not set out "clearly and prominently", that were missing an unsubscribe mechanism, or that did not provide complete identification information. Also, Porter Airlines Inc. was unable to provide proof of consent for some of the email addresses to which it sent commercial electronic messages. In addition to making a monetary payment, Porter Airlines Inc. agreed to update and implement its compliance program and has since brought its mailing list into compliance with the legislation.

This decision and fines issued by Canada's Anti-Spam regulator against Porter Airlines hilights the need for businesses and organizations to ensure they are legally CASL compliant, including having sufficient evidence to provide proof of consents (whether express or implied, as defined in the Act and the Regulations) as well as proper training of employees, and binding vendors and subcontractors to CASL obligations.

In March, Plentyoffish Media Inc. paid a monetary payment of $48,000 as part of an undertaking concerning an alleged violation of paragraph 6(2)(c) and non-compliance with paragraph 11(1)(b) of CASL, as well as non-compliance with subsection 2(2) and section 3 of the Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations (CRTC). The Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer’s investigation alleged that Plentyoffish Media Inc. sent commercial electronic messages to registered users of the Plenty of Fish online dating service, on its own behalf, that contain an unsubscribe mechanism that was not set out "clearly and prominently" and was not able to be "readily performed". In addition to making a monetary payment, Plentyoffish Media Inc. agreed to implement a compliance program and has since brought their unsubscribe mechanism into compliance with the legislation.

The largest penalty to date of $1,100,000 was also issued in March against 3510395 Canada Inc. (dba Compu.Finder) for having sent commercial electronic messages without the recipient’s consent as well as for sending some commercial electronic messages which contained an unsubscribe mechanism that did not function properly, resulting in violations of paragraphs 6(1)(a) and 6(2)(c) of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.

Are you doing business or marketing in Canada?  Miller Thomson LLP can assist you with minimizing your risks for CASL non-compliance, by reviewing and advising on your business agreements, practices, employee training and CASL policies and helping you with negotiating proper contract terms to protect you from violations caused by your suppliers or subcontractors.