On September 4, 2015, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released an Enforcement Advisory to remind certain businesses in Canada of the requirements under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) with respect to “implied consent”. In connection with the Enforcement Advisory, the CRTC has also published an updated Guidance on Implied Consent (the Guidance).

The Enforcement Advisory indicates that CRTC staff observed that some businesses are sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) to lists of email addresses gathered from public websites. The Guidance explains the circumstances pursuant to which a CEM can be sent to email addresses found online, and also addresses:

  • The difference between express and implied consent
  • Circumstances where a purchaser of a business can rely on previously obtained consent
  • Existing business relationships and examples of how an existing business relationship can or cannot be used as implied consent
  • How to prove that you have consent
  • The importance of good recordkeeping practices

In light of this Enforcement Advisory and new Guidance, and given the CRTC’s commitment to crack down on flagrant violations of CASL (see our March and July bulletins for examples of recent enforcement actions), we encourage you to review your CASL compliance program and assess how you are protecting your firm against regulatory action or civil lawsuits.