Spammers beware – the penalties for breaching Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) are hefty.  Yesterday, the CRTC issued its first penalty under CASL’s commercial electronic messaging rules.  It imposed a whopping $1.1 million penalty against Compu-Finder for sending commercial electronic messages without the recipient’s consent (see: News Release).  The CRTC found that Compu-Finder did so without a properly functioning unsubscribe mechanism. Compu-Finder has 30 days to provide written representations or pay the penalty.

According to the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer, the violation of CASL was “flagrant” and “violated the basic principles of the law by continuing to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages after the law came into force to email addresses it found by scouring websites.” He noted that by issuing the Notice of Violation, his goal was to encourage a change of behaviour on the part of Compu-Finder.  The CRTC also said that it takes violations seriously and expects businesses to be in compliance.

CASL apparently has teeth and clearly, it is being monitored.